February 12, 2018
What Does the Bible Say About Money?
January 7, 2019 | Keith Crain
Let me start with 100% transparency. I have not always been good with money. Truth be told, for much of my life, I was pretty terrible managing money. Like many Americans, I fell into the trap of believing what I owned and what I will own, will make me happy. On several occasions, I tried to break the spending cycle by consolidating debt. With genuine intent, the plan was to stop spending and pay down debt.
This worked for a while, but inevitably the desire for the latest trinkets drove me to still spend money I did not have. By the fall of 2009, I was $101,000 in debt, including a mortgage and felt like I would never break free from the debt.
In 2010, I met Jesus and my entire worldview changed. Especially on the subject of money.
What changed? Simply put, my heart and attitude changed because I regularly read the Bible. So, what does the Bible say about money? A lot! There are more than 2,000 verses on money. Jesus taught on the subject of money and possessions more than any other topic.
For me, there were several verses that absolutely pierced my heart. Here are some excerpts from four of the most impactful verses:
- Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
- Philippians 4:11 “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”
- Proverbs 22:7 “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is
slaveto the lender.”
- Malachi 3:6-11 “Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
I just threw a lot at you so let me explain the impact these four Bible verses had on me.
The verses from Matthew and Philippians are closely related because they deal with the heart. As I started examining my financial life, I realized the root of my spending was a heart issue. I was not content in my life and I was trying to fill a hole in my heart with stuff that Jesus should occupy instead – and that does not work. Instead of contentment, I felt trapped.
As it says in Proverbs 22:7, I felt like a slave. I did not have the financial freedom to do the things I wanted. But Malachi offered hope. The scripture in Malachi is most often associated with tithing – giving your first 10% back to God.
This is a challenge when you are struggling and living paycheck to paycheck, but in that scripture, God says, “test me and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing”. So I held on to the promise in that verse and pressed into financial sacrifice. First by giving a small amount regularly. Then giving a percentage - and increasing the amount as the budget was adjusted. Finally, getting to a full tithe. And God’s promise? I can truly say I am blessed beyond my wildest imagination.
If you are wondering where I am today financially, I am happy to report I am 100% debt-free (including my home). I have a little bit of cash in savings and are working on funding a retirement plan. None of this seemed possible a few years ago. But the scriptures I mentioned have changed my financial life.
If you feel like your situation is hopeless or a desperate one, there is always hope in Jesus! A great step you can take is investing in Financial Peace University starting in January. Dave Ramsey and his team take a Biblical look at finances and teach you how to win with money.
Keith is the Director of Spiritual Development. In this role, he directs Vineyard FIT, Vineyard Groups, retreats, conferences, and some events.