Are you struggling with debt and financial difficulties? Do you need help to manage your money?
In the money orientated, materialistic world that we live in, what does God want us to do with our money?
On this page, I hope to deal with some of these issues from a Biblical perspective.
Do Not Worry About Money
Everyone needs money to live. It is a fact that without money we would not be able to meet our basic needs.
We need money to be able to put a roof over our heads, to buy food, drink and clothes.
Jesus tells us though not to worry about these things as he will provide all we need.
'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?' Matthew 6:25
Jesus says that instead of worrying we should seek his kingdom and have faith and all our needs will be provided for us.
'But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.' Matthew 6:33 (NIV).
'And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.' Philippians 4:19
What a promise and what a comfort. We don't need to worry about money as God loves us and will provide all our needs if we trust in Him.
It is very important though to remember that 'our needs' and 'our wants' are completely different.
Proverbs 30:8-9 says, "Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the LORD?'' Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonour the name of my God." We should ask God for what we need and be content with what we have.
"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have,
because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'" Hebrews 13:5
Our Money belongs to God
As Christians everything we have is given to us by God, and that includes our money. All of our money belongs to God because we are under the ownership of Jesus, because he bought us through his sacrifice.
"...You are not your own; you were bought at a price.... "1 Corinthians 6:19-20. We belong to Jesus and all our money belongs to Him too.
What About Debt?
Are you in debt and struggling financially? In Old Testament times if a debt couldn't be paid,
the debtor became a slave to the lender until it was paid off. Today, if you borrow money you have to pay the debt and much more money too.
God says in Proverbs 22:7 "the borrower is slave to the lender." Debt makes you a slave to your lender.
Because of this fact, we must do everything we can to get out of debt.
Our aim should be to live within our means.
If you are in debt, do everything you can to get out of it.
"Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law." Romans 13:8
Practically speaking make a list of your expenditures against your income and set yourself a budget by which to live each month.
Ask God to give you wisdom and show you areas where you can reduce your spending. Paul encourages the believers to save money,
to budget and set aside money to give each week.
"On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income,
saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made."1 Corinthians 16:2
If you want any more information or advice about managing debt please feel free to e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org)
What About Giving?
How much of our money should we be giving to God? Is a 10% tithe enough?
If we take the example of the rich young ruler in Mark Chapter 10, who asked Jesus," 'Good Teacher,
what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? " (v17)
He kept all of the Ten Commandments but ...."Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him,
"One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven:
and come, take up the cross, and follow Me. "
Jesus told him to sell all his possessions. Perhaps he could see that money and possessions came first in his heart before God.
" At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth." (verse 22)
Jesus does not ask everyone to give away all their money. When Zaccheus became a follower of Jesus he said, "
Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything,
I will pay back four times the amount. "(Luke 19:8)
Zaccheus was repentant and gave generously with the right attitude. He did not give everything away as Jesus requested of the rich young ruler, but he gave half of his possessions and paid back four times those he had cheated.
Zaccheus had the right attitude to giving and put God first.
We know this because Jesus said, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. "(Luke 19:9)
Money should be a tool by which we put God first. We should use our money to serve God. Brian Kluth (Pastor and Genorosity speaker-author) says, "
A Christian can never serve God AND Money, but they must learn to serve God WITH money."
"No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other,
or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." Luke 16:13
John Wesley when preaching about giving said, "Do you not know that God entrusted you with that money (all above what buys necessities for your family), to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to help the stranger, the widow, the fatherless, and indeed as far as it will go,
to relieve the wants of all mankind. How can you, how dare you, defraud your LORD by applying it to other purpose."
John Wesley lived by 3 rules - Gain all you can. Save all you can. Give all you can.
Wesley's giving as recorded in 1731
1st Year = Income £30 Living Expenses £28 Giving £2
2nd Year = Income £60 Living Expenses £28 Giving £32
3rd Year = Income £90 Living Expenses £28 Giving £62
4th Year = Income £120 Living Expenses £28 Giving £92
(Information taken from http://www.peterbriscoe.eu/?p=186 - Wesley's 3 rules of Money)
What a challenge when we look at John Wesley's example.
His income increased, his living expenses remained the same and his giving greatly increased.
What an example! So often today, our income increases, and our spending on ourselves increases.
What does God want us to strive for? A bigger house? A better holiday? Or to give more money to the poor and needy.
CS Lewis said, "Do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.
If our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us,
I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot because our charitable expenditure excludes them."
Wow! What a challenge! Do the words of C.S Lewis make us feel uncomfortable?
I imagine it makes a lot of us think twice about the amount of money we give. Are we honouring God through our giving?
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy,
and where thieves do not break in and steal.For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."Matthew 6:19-21
I encourage you to take the time to pray to God and ask him to guide you with the money he has entrusted to you.
'So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.'
(2 Corinthians 9:7)