4 Tidbits of Financial Wisdom Straight From the Bible
By Guest Author
At the Christian Prayer Center, we often get prayer requests asking for miracle financial blessings that include new homes, luxury automobiles, fancy motorcycles and the like. Instead of people praying for wisdom in effectively managing their finances, many modern day Christians pray that they will win large sums of money in a lottery, or receive another type of large windfall such as an inheritance from a lost uncle. Although miraculous financial events do occasionally happen to faithful devotees of Christ, we can look to the Bible for common, sensible advice in how we should behave when it comes to our pocket books and financial goals.
The Bible is careful to outline several pieces of financial wisdom that are surprisingly appropriate for modern times.
1. Use Your Capital to Make More Capital
Solid financial advice should always include the reinvestment of capital. For example, if you have extra money that is not earning a return, it’s best to use that money for good, instead of spending it on consumables. The following passage from Proverbs does well to show this same principle:
“The lambs are for your clothing, and the goats are the price of the field.” Proverbs 27:26
Although the farmer’s fields are full of delicious livestock, he must recognize that these are valuable assets that have the potential to increase his income and offset his expenses. In this instance, instead of feasting on lamb, the farmer is encouraged to sheer them for wool. Instead of eating the goats or trading them for luxury goods, they are to be used to pay rent (or mortgage) on his fields. By maintaining our assets and putting them to work, the Bible shows us how to prosper.
2. Save, Save, Save and Avoid Debt
Just as in many modern “get rich slowly” books of today, the Bible shares with us similar advice when it comes to saving. No matter what your income is, it is always a good idea to save 10-20% of what you earn. In the following verse, the bible suggests saving 1/7 of your income, or roughly 14.2%:
“On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come.” Corinthians 16:2
Specifically, this passage is warning the reader not to get into debt. Once you accrue debt, you will be paying interest, and collections will be made upon your house. There were no credit cards two thousand years ago, but consumer debt still existed. Having a savings always makes sense.
3. On Our Path to Increased Wealth, We Must Maintain Morality
Through the struggles that the United States and the world are going through right now, it is easy to see how a lack of morals can easily manifest itself on the way to trying to get rich. When people are in a frenzy to get rich quick, they often sacrifice their ethical standards. The Bible clearly states the importance of making a gentle accent into financial security:
“Woe to him who builds his house without righteousness and his upper rooms without justice, who uses his neighbor’s services without pay and does not give him his wages.” Jeremiah 22:13
Pay your employees, and compensate fairly the people who have helped you. Do not trample on society or other people as you gather wealth. In time, all those who follow the advice of the Bible will be able to build their metaphorical “second floor,” if we do so with fairness and diligence.
4. Give a Portion of Your Excess to Charity
If you are fortunate to be running a surplus past your base expenses, it it encouraged that you might give back to the society that has housed and helped you get so far. Many organizations that do great things rely solely on the generosity of their donors.
“At the end of every third year you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in that year, and shall deposit it in your town.” Deuteronomy 14:28
Although the Bible often encourages tithing to your church, this passage in particular, suggests something more broad. It urges people to give back to their town, their community. This can be in donations to the schools, the theaters, the museums, or the churches.
The next time you are seeking sound financial advice, and you use prayer, consider asking for financial wisdom, as opposed to quick windfalls or gains. The Bible offers much terrific advice on the matter, indeed.