4 reasons why a Christian cannot be a skinflint

By Stew

Money blogs are usually a place for getting the most out of life for the least amount of money. They are place to seek ideas of how to gain financial security with the least amount of risk. But did you know that too much of this kind of thinking can be a bad thing? Did you know that  Christians can be too tight with their money? Today, I am going to suggest that following Christ might actually require you to not give, not save, but spend more money!

First consider these verses, you will see principles from these verses throughout the statements that follow.

All this, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the Lord your God accept you.” But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. – 2 Samuel 24:24

Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him. – Mark 12:17

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us…one who contributes, in generosity…the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulnessLet love be genuine…Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality…Live in harmony with one another...If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all…“if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink…Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. – Romans 12, parts of verses 6-21

You shall not charge interest on loans to your brother, interest on money, interest on food, interest on anything that is lent for interest.- Deuteronomy 23:19

Whoever multiplies his wealth by interest and profit gathers it for him who is generous to the poor. – Proverbs 28:28

Who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved. – Psalm 15:5

And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God. – Leviticus 23:22

For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.- 2 Thessalonians 2:10

From these verses and many others in the Bible, we can derive 4 reasons why a Christian cannot be a skinflint:

Spending money is a way to help the poor

Many people believe that the only way to help the poor is by giving them money directly, however, the fact is that you might actually be helping the lazy, not the poor. I’m not saying that everyone who does not have a job is lazy . . . but if the person who you help is not interested in working or being diligent to pursue that goal, you may be doing more harm than good by giving him money. On the other hand, when you spend money on goods and services, you are helping to strengthen the economy and create jobs for those who sincerely want to work. Not all poor people are unemployed people.

Furthermore, a believer who owns a business or employs people should build in a bit of inefficiency – he should not glean every single blade of grain from his field – in order to benefit his customers and his employees.

Spending money is a way to help the government

I know, I know, in most cases, the government is the exact opposite of frugal. However, though terribly inefficient, the government does provide many services that benefit both the poor, the unemployed, the employed and the rich. As much as it hurts, we must give “unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” and by doing so, we help out the community as a whole. Christians who break tax law or go to great lengths to avoid taxation are not being good citizens or “living peaceably with all.” Do not forget that the government does not just collect taxes from income and property, but also when people spend money via sales tax.

spending money is a way to love your neighbor

As Christians, we need to be good citizens in our communities. One of the best ways to show love to those around you is to spend money on goods and services offered in your local area. The believer who is always looking to save $.50 or $1.00 can go too far and develop a reputation for being a skinflint or a miser. This should not be true of a Christian.

Spending money puts money in your pocket

Are you aware that when you spend money, you improve your own financial situation? The person who drives past the “mom and pop” store on the way to a big box, discount retailer in another town is weakening his own community. Because when that “mom and pop” goes out of business, your neighborhood will suffer from blight, unemployment, a shrinking tax base and there might be a day when you need good, competent service.

Christian, don’t pinch that penny too hard.



4 Responses (including trackbacks) to “4 reasons why a Christian cannot be a skinflint”

  1. Jonathan Says:

    It’s counter intuitive but I genuinely believe that the more generous you are with money the more likely you are to be blessed by others yourself. Clearly there’s a balance to be had but you’re right that it is a great biblical principle.

  2. Christian Says:

    We should always remember the principle of sowing and reaping. This applies to giving and receiving as well as to investing and getting the ROI. So it doesn’t really make sense to extremely pinch pennies.

  3. John @ Married (with Debt) Says:

    Interesting take on the idea of faith and finances. Most people are able to read from the Bible what they want to hear.

  4. Summer Says:

    Thanks for this article. You’ve raised some very good ideas I want to think about. I have a friend who lived in the Philippines for awhile and she said it was expected for those in “better” situations to hire people to clean house, cook, garden etc. for you. This was one of the ways their culture (at least at the time) helped keep people employed etc.

    I do believe we as a church should do all that we can to help people get jobs and keep their families fed. This means to me, providing training classes, opening not for profit establishments to provide jobs, and provide services such as day care, AA, or whatever to help people function all because of and in the love of Christ.