3 Financial Lessons from the Bible

BY JASON PRICE ON AUGUST 26, 2011 IN BIBLE & MONEY

According to Christian financial author, Howard Dayton, The Bible contains over 2,300 scriptures related to money. I think it’s amazing The Bible has that much to say about money. It seems money and the management of it has always been a challenge for people and there exists an unending need to provide wisdom about how to manage it properly. Certainly, there are no shortage of financial blogs on the internet today sharing practical tips and financial wisdom.

Whether you’re a Christian or not, I believe people can find some financial truths in The Bible to help guide them in managing money wisely. Let’s take a look at 3 examples and how they might apply to your situation.

Avoid Debt

What does The Bible say about debt? The Bible helps us gain the right perspective about debt so we can avoid it.

“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” (Proverbs 22:7)

If you’ve ever taken out a loan to buy something such as a car, TV or large appliance you may have felt a lack of freedom afterwards. Sure, you enjoyed your new purchase, but not as much when the payments were due each month for several years.

The Bible simply helps us understand we are in servitude towards debt or a lender when we borrow. You’re in a better situation when you’re free of such financial obligations. In other words, you can use your money to improve your financial situation and free yourself from that servitude by saving, investing or even giving more. Practically speaking, the calculation of your net worth (assets minus liabilities) will give you insight into the same truth.

Save for the Future

What does The Bible say about saving money? The Bible reminds us of the importance of saving and preparing for the future.

“The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.” (Proverbs 21:20)

Many people know the importance of saving, but can’t seem to find a way to put money aside each month after expenses that often include credit card payments and other financial obligations. The Bible clearly tells us it’s foolish to spend all that we have. Rather, we need to save for the future because Murphy, as Dave Ramsey puts it, lurks around every corner.

Murphy’s Law says, “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.” So, you can count on needing some money in the future to manage emergencies such as the car breaking down, a job lay-off or a problem with the house. Dave Ramsey tells us to avoid Murphy with such savings and The Bible clearly teaches the same.

Learn to be Content

How do you learn to be content from The Bible? There is a warning in The Bible against greed and pursuing too many possessions.

“Then he said to them, Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15)

Learning to be content is a tough one for many people. As an American society, we’re always wanting to spend more and have more. It’s certainly easy to want instant gratification when commercials and advertisements tell us we need something now versus later. And the amount of money we have available through credit cards makes it even easier to get today what you should probably be saving for to buy tomorrow.

Rather, The Bible says to be content and know that life is more than the abundance of possessions. Faith, family and relationships are often the most important things to people when you boil it down. Practically speaking, learning to be content involves creating a spending plan, or budget, that allows you to save for things you want versus buying on credit today.

Final Thoughts

Again, whether you’re a Christian or not, following these principles from The Bible of avoiding debt, saving for the future and learning to be content can help you manage your money wisely. There is that wonderful thing called “Financial Peace” Dave Ramsey always talks about. Yes, he even created a class around it. Following all of these principles will definitely create more financial peace in your life and help put you in the driver’s seat of managing your money. Remember, if you manage your money, your money can’t manage you.

Kelly Johannessen