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7 Essential Biblical Money Principles: Mastering Financial Management God’s Way

Talking about money can be uncomfortable for many of us. However, the truth is that the Bible has a wealth of wisdom on this subject. Surprisingly, Jesus spoke more about money than any other topic.

After some research, these facts emerged:

  • 16 out of 38 parables focus on money and possessions.
  • 228 verses directly deal with money.
  • Over 2,000 verses relate to money and materialism.

Clearly, God places great significance on money and wants us to handle it wisely.

Have you ever wondered why? Bakit nga ba?

I believe it’s because money plays a substantial role in our lives. We devote a significant amount of time to earning, spending, thinking, worrying, and desiring more money.

God foresaw that money would have a significant impact on us. That’s why He dedicated a considerable portion of the Bible to discussing this matter.

Unfortunately, many people view sermons on money in church as mere pleas for increased giving — guilt-ridden appeals to tithe or donate more. However, for Jesus, teaching about money was crucial in preparing us for a godly life. I believe how we manage money serves as a litmus test for our spiritual maturity.

Jesus stated in Luke 16:11:

“If you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches in heaven?”

In other words, God observes how we handle money — regardless of the amount — and what we do with it here on Earth. If we prove untrustworthy with money and material wealth, He won’t entrust us with true spiritual riches in eternity.

It’s a matter of stewardship. I know “stewardship” sounds like an odd word, but it simply means management. God calls us to be good managers of His resources, including wealth, money, and possessions.

So, how do we responsibly manage our money as God intended?

Let’s explore seven biblical principles for handling money effectively:

1. Remember that it is God’s Money

Many struggle to trust God with their money because they think of it as their money. However, everything we have on this earth is a gift from God.

Psalm 24:1 (NLT) affirms, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it.”

Our homes, food, and clothes are all blessings from God. Acknowledge Him and express gratitude. When you feel stingy with your money, remember that it’s not really yours. God has entrusted it to you.

You might think, “Wait a minute! I earned that money through my knowledge, skills, and abilities.”

But who initially gave you those talents in the first place? Wasn’t it God?

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2. Budget Wisely

Although the Bible doesn’t explicitly mention budgeting, it provides clear guidance on the importance of planning. Essentially, a budget is a written plan to track and control income and expenses.

Proverbs 27:23 advises, “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks. Give careful attention to your herds, for riches do not endure forever and a crown is not secure for all generations.”

In other words, we need to be aware of how we use our income to determine if any adjustments are necessary in our spending habits.

Budgeting enables us to live within our means, avoid impulsive and unnecessary expenses, and prepare for future needs. Without careful financial planning, we may find ourselves in dire financial straits.

Why is Budgeting Important?

Creating a budget or plan fosters responsible financial management.

Luke 14:28 states, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?”

Knowing your income and allocating funds for bills, tithing, savings, and personal expenses helps you spend within your means. By categorizing monthly expenses (such as food, utilities, housing, transportation, education, and healthcare) and comparing them to your income, you can identify areas where adjustments are needed. If your expenses exceed your income, you must cut unnecessary purchases.

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Once you’ve allocated specific amounts to each category, refrain from spending more money in a particular area if the allocated funds have been depleted. It requires determination, but gaining control of your finances is vital.

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3. Tithe Faithfully

Paying our tithes to the Lord is the most crucial principle in the Bible concerning money management.

A tithe represents 10% of our income (Deuteronomy 14:22) and supports the ministry and work of the Church. Tithing symbolizes prioritizing God in our lives.

Undoubtedly, God doesn’t need our money. Ultimately, everything we have belongs to Him (Exodus 19:5). Tithing benefits those who faithfully give, not the other way around.

In Malachi 3:10, God says, “Bring the full amount of your tithes to the Temple, so that there will be plenty of food there. Put me to the test and you will see that I will open the windows of heaven and pour out on you in abundance all kinds of good things.”

This verse inspired me to start tithing. Even when I felt I didn’t have enough, I held onto Jesus’ promise of abundant blessings for faithful tithers. These blessings extend beyond the physical or financial; they encompass spiritual blessings as well.

Tithing isn’t about enriching churches. Instead, it aims to aid the needy and support church growth within communities.

Why is Tithing Important?

Tithing teaches us to be responsible stewards of what God has given us and cultivates a selfless mindset. This promotes improved household finances and enhances our roles as spouses, friends, relatives, employees, and employers.

Moreover, tithing fosters a deeper trust in God and strengthens our relationship with Him.

In my life, tithing has been one of the best decisions I ever made. Before tithing, I believed I couldn’t afford it because my income barely covered my bills. However, I took a leap of faith, and surprisingly, my needs were met — sometimes even with surplus for sharing.

Tithing keeps me focused on God and reminds me that I can always rely on Him, regardless of the situation.

Give to God what is essentially His. By tithing, we not only obey His commands but also demonstrate our trust in His provision.

Proverbs 3:9 advises, “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops.”

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4. Save for the Unforeseen

This biblical money principle goes hand in hand with budgeting and responsible debt management. By actively setting aside money and building up our savings, we ensure we have funds available when unexpected bills arise, reducing our reliance on borrowing.

A good practice is to allocate a percentage of our income to savings immediately after tithing. Personally, after tithing 10% to the church, I allocate an additional 10% to savings. The remaining funds cover bills, necessary expenses, and personal treats.

Proverbs 30:25 provides a powerful illustration:

“Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer.”

What can we learn from ants? They store food for future consumption. We should follow their example and build an emergency fund to cover both unpredictable and anticipated future needs.

Why is Saving Important?

Life is unpredictable. Job loss, unexpected expenses, or health issues can arise at any moment.

Three years ago, my husband experienced a ten-month period of unemployment after being laid off. Although challenging, this experience taught us valuable lessons.

We may encounter situations where we need a new appliance or face unforeseen medical expenses. Life’s surprises can leave us financially strained.

That’s why God encourages us to save. Savings can serve as a financial safety net during retirement or in the absence of a steady paycheck.

Often overlooked, saving just a small amount per pay period, such as P1,000, can accumulate over time.

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5. Avoid Debt

The Bible advises against debt. Proverbs 22:7 warns, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.”

When burdened with excessive debt, you become enslaved to creditors, unable to freely decide how to utilize your paycheck as you are obligated to meet debt obligations.

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To avoid debt, reassess your financial habits and change the way you handle debt, including overspending and borrowing.

After tithing, prioritize saving money so you won’t need to borrow.

Be cautious when buying on credit to keep debt in check. Purchasing on credit diminishes our standard of living due to interest charges.

While some personal finance experts suggest using credit cards and paying the full balance each month to avoid interest, exercise this option only if you’re confident you can fulfill your commitment. Personally, I use credit cards for purchases, but I ensure I pay the full balance before the due date to avoid interest and penalties.

If you have significant revolving debt, it’s essential to pay it off as quickly as possible, starting with the credit card carrying the highest interest rate.

Do not spend money you don’t have.

Spending money you don’t have is a hard lesson I’ve learned. I used to enter a store to buy one item and leave with ten items I didn’t need — all on credit!

The cold, hard truth is that we need to stop spending money we don’t have.

I recall a quote from Rose Fausto’s book, FQ Mom, which I read earlier this year:

“Buy luxury only if you can afford to buy 10 pieces of it.”

Even when purchasing non-luxury items, strive to avoid debt and overspending unless you genuinely can afford it.

Don’t help others fall into debt.

Proverbs 22:26-27 cautions, “Don’t agree to guarantee another person’s debt or put up security for someone else. If you can’t pay it, even your bed will be snatched from under you.”

This verse relates to exercising caution when cosigning loans. Taking on someone else’s debt poses a significant credit risk. Cosigning implies that the borrower failed to meet the lender’s requirements.

While it’s commendable to help others, offering sound biblical resources on money management is a greater blessing.

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6. Give Unconditionally

Many claim they can’t afford to give, but the real issue lies with prioritization. Even though giving may not be a priority in the world, it holds immense significance to God.

Everything we have, including money, jobs, and the ability to earn, is a gift from God. After satisfying our needs, He wants us to share what we’ve been given with others.

Acts 20:35 quotes Jesus, saying, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

We should give unconditionally, even when recipients cannot repay us (Luke 14:12-14). This could involve donating to charity, helping those in need, or providing meals for the homeless.

While we should exercise wisdom in the amount we give, we must avoid being too stingy with our money. It’s important to be generous and not overly attached to our possessions.

There have been times when I’ve given, and afterward, my wallet and bank account seemed emptier. Yet, unexpectedly, I received financial blessings that filled the void.

When we have the desire to share, God provides us with the means to do so.

Of course, not everyone has the same financial means. Some may genuinely struggle financially. However, even in these circumstances, we can give of our time, talents, or other non-financial assets that God has entrusted to us.

The point is, God wants us to use what He has blessed us with to be a blessing to others. This cultivates a greater appreciation for what we have and develops a more thankful heart.

Luke 6:38 states, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

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7. Work Diligently

We often perceive work as burdensome, interrupting our plans and desires. However, we should remember that work is a blessing. Through hard work and averting laziness, we reap financial, emotional, physical, and spiritual benefits.

Proverbs 14:23 affirms, “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”

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Generally, diligent workers are more likely to be promoted or receive higher raises. While exceptions exist, we need not focus excessively on earthly riches. God looks at our hearts and diligence. Our true treasures lie in heaven.

Avoid Get-Rich-Quick Schemes

Be cautious of individuals claiming great fortunes with little effort. I’ve previously succumbed to shortcuts, resulting in quick but fleeting financial gain, accompanied by lasting financial and emotional costs.

Seek consistent sources of income or employment that offer steady small gains over time.

Proverbs 13:11 cautions, “Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time.”

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Trust in God, Not in Your Finances

The Bible emphasizes that true security can only be found in God (1 Timothy 6:17). Trusting in riches will ultimately lead to destruction (Proverbs 11:28).

Our wealth and possessions are temporary and can vanish in an instant due to theft, accidents, or natural disasters.

Instead of worrying about financial problems, we must recognize God as our refuge and trust in Him, knowing He cares for those who rely on Him (Nahum 1:7). Our focus should be on seeking God’s kingdom first, firmly believing that He will provide for our physical needs (Matthew 6:25-34).

Avoid Loving Money

The Bible warns that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, not money itself (1 Timothy 6:10). Money enables the construction of churches and hospitals and aids the poor. However, we must be cautious not to idolize money. Signs that money has become an idol include:

  • Sacrificing quality time with God and family to pursue wealth.
  • Constantly worrying about finances, hindering the enjoyment of life.
  • Spending excessive time analyzing budgets at the expense of family time.
  • Possessing the latest gadgets or expensive items without finding fulfillment.
  • Accumulating substantial debt exceeding yearly income.

Money is essential, but it is not everything.

Stop Worrying About Money

The Bible advises us not to worry about anything. Instead, we should present our requests to God in prayer and thanksgiving, including concerns about money. Fretting over financial matters only leads to stress and sleepless nights.

Matthew 6:25-27 assures, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

Be Content with What You Have

It’s easy to covet what others possess, such as relatives buying new cars annually or acquaintances moving into picturesque homes showcased on Pinterest. Nevertheless, we must learn to be content with what we have. When content, we are less likely to accumulate debt for things we cannot truly afford.

Philippians 4:11-12 states, “And I am not saying this because I feel neglected, for I have learned to be satisfied with what I have. I know what it is to be in need and what it is to have more than enough. I have learned this secret, so that anywhere, at any time, I am content, whether I am full or hungry, whether I have too much or too little.”

Trust That God Will Provide

Believe in God’s promise to meet your every need. Sometimes, He provides through the generosity of others, while other times, it is through our own efforts. However, God has not promised to provide the same amount to everyone.

Accept what God has provided for you. What He entrusts to you is part of His plan for your life.

One of my favorite verses is Philippians 4:19, which I affirm daily:

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

By adhering to these biblical money principles, we will experience improved finances and gain peace of mind. There will be less tension surrounding money at home, creating stronger family bonds.

Most importantly, we will develop a deeper trust in God, a greater appreciation for His purpose in our lives, and a closer relationship with Him.

Share your thoughts on handling God’s money better in the comments below!

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