What Does the Bible Say About Money?

Updated on February 21, 2019
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Erin Shelby is highly experienced in the single life. She writes about relationships and other topics.

What Does the Bible Say About Money?

What does the Bible say about money? You might be surprised to find the answers to that question. While you might think of TV preachers or giving money to a church, there's actually lots of helpful advice about money in the Bible. The stereotype of a preacher that's only after your money is a negative one, and many people can relate to being forced to give for a religious cause.

Unlike people who are flawed, Jesus Christ is perfect. He came that we might have life and that we might have it abundantly. While the Bible makes no promises that we will be rich or wealthy, the Bible does offer timeless wisdom that can help us financially. Take a look at some of the things that the Bible says about money.

Wealth Isn't Always Obvious

Proverbs 13:7 "One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth." New International Version (NIV)

Can we tell a person's wealth by their appearance? The Bible has something to say about this. It may be wise to not try to live up to the standards the world expects of us. The Bible tells us a person who seems to be rich may indeed be poor. The reverse is also true - the person who seems poor may actually be rich. We should all be careful and aware of how we may be judging others.

Chasing Fantasies is a Waste of Time

Proverbs 12:11 "Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense." New International Version (NIV)

While most of us today in North America don't rely on working a farm or garden to earn our living, people in earlier times equated working land to earning a living. If they didn't work their land, they wouldn't eat. They wouldn't have the means to provide for themselves. They would starve. It would be the equivalent of not showing up for work. Deciding not to work their land would be like abandoning their job.

Are you chasing a fantasy? Chasing fantasies is a waste of time. While there's nothing wrong with having fun, chasing fantasies with money is a waste of time.

Dishonest Money Dwindles Away

Proverbs 13:11 "Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow." New International Version (NIV)

It may seem like people who steal, lie, and cheat get their money fast and easily. But how many disgraced people in the media can you think of who embezzled or committed fraud whose reputations came down in a flash, all because of a dishonest chase of money? Working slowly to save your money is harder, but much more worthwhile. Little by little, we can see our money grow whether it's $5 a week from pocket money or a little bit larger sum of money. The principle remains the same - little by little can add up to a lot, but honesty is important, no matter how much is involved.

Want Money? Work Hard

Proverbs 14:23 "All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty." (New International Version (NIV)

When I was completely out of work and desperately looking for a job, I kept track of the number of job applications I submitted. It totaled around 100 before I landed a full-time job. I prayed that God would send me a job, any job, and I wasn't being picky. Eventually, I succeeded, but it took a lot of work on my part. Work in the form of filling out applications, completing cover letters, reading job descriptions, and eventually doing phone interviews and in-person interviews.

What would "mere talk" have looked like in my situation? I could have just sat back, hoping and wishing for a job, and praying that God would answer my prayers. While it's true that God could have miraculously dropped a job offer on my lap, that would have been quite lazy on my part. I had to work hard to search the online ads, apply, do my best, and then have faith that God would do what I couldn't.

What does "mere talk" vs. "hard work" look like for you? If you're hoping for a promotion at your job, what might hard work look like? If you're like me when I was so desperate that I was almost looking under a rock for a job, what might "hard work" look like for you?

Rest Must Follow Work

Exodus 20:8-10 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work,.." New International Version (NIV)

Do you find it difficult to rest? If you're an over-achiever or a high achiever, maybe it's hard for you to turn off your drive to work, work, work and just be. The Bible gives us permission, and not just permission, it gives us a directive, to rest every week. Our rest is mandatory following a busy week, and our rest is a way of telling God that our life isn't just ours, our life is His. No matter how much we may get caught up in pursuing our own goals or our desire for money, we get the chance every week to stop and put a pause on it by taking a break from work and just resting.

What are your plans for the weekend?

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