The Bible and Money

The Bible is a rich resource of wisdom on practical money management! In order to help you find passages for personal study and teaching, I've tracked down verses and attempted to organize them in a topical, outline form. Although I consulted topical Bibles, a Strong's Concordance and The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (an extensive cross-reference resource), I especially want to thank Larry Burkette (now in heaven) for pulling together most of these verses in his book, Dollars and Sense: Bible Wisdom for the Faithful Steward.

I'm far from exhausting the wealth of Scriptures relating to finances. As you discover verses I've missed, please let me know! (webmaster@youth-ministry.info)

Disclaimer: I've not studied all of these verses in their various contexts. Observations about their meaning and placement in the outline has generally been done by reading each text and taking it at face value. Before teaching, please study each text in its context.

In the members' section, I have completed one series on "Materialism" and have another series in process on "Personal Money Management."

Introductory Matters

A. Knowing and Following God's Word Brings Success (Ps. 1:1,2; Ps. 12:6; Ps. 112:1; Ps. 119:96,97;101; light unto feet)

B. God's Blessing can include Material Success (See life of Solomon; Ps. 128:1,2)

C. Pray

D. Connecting with God as a Starting Point to Change Money Habits

1. Need total makeover (born again), not just adjustment (Jn. 3:3)

a. So not controlled by sinful nature (Rom. 8:8,9)

b. God strengthens the fully committed (2 Chron. 16:9)

c. God abounds in riches for those who call upon Him. (Rom. 10:11,12; Heb. 11:6)

d. He directs if He's first (Pr. 3:6)

e. Commit it to the Lord (Pr. 16:3,4)

f. Because you can't serve both God and mammon (Lk. 16:13)

g. He wants to bless us. (Jn. 10:10; Ps. 119:2,3)

h. Put God First (2 Cor. 7:1)

i. Sacrifice brings blessings here and in the hereafter (Mt. 19:29)

2. Commit your plans to the Lord (Prov. 16:20)

E. Avoid Materialism

a. Love of money root of all sorts of evil, plunge into ruin and destruction. (I Tim. 6:9,10)

b. Can be rich although poor (Pr. 13:7 - mean appear poor? or actually?; Pr. 14:2; 16:8)

c. God watches over the poor (Pr. 14:2; 16:8; Ps. 145:14,17-19; Ps. 9:9)

d. Riches can make you feel not need God (Pr. 30:8,9)

e. Rich can be tempted to oppress the poor (James)

f. Generosity often generates more money.

g. Go for service over status (Mt. 20:26-28, Luke 12:42ff., Mt. 10:42 - even small - Tipping Point; Col. 1:9,10)

h. Humility over pride (Prov. 3:5,6; Phil. 2:3; I Cor. 3:18)

i. Wealth can be deceptive (Deut. 11:16,17)

j. Don't envy successful (Ps. 49:16,17; Prov. 24:1)

k. Don't covet neighbor's stuff (Deut. 5:21)

l. Be content. (I Tim. 6:6-8; Phil. 4:12)

m. Beware of lust of eyes, pride, ambition (I Jn. 2:15,16

n. If understand how much He's given us, less reason to be jealous (Eph. 1:6-8)

o. Don't be greedy (Lk. 12:15)

p. Other stuff more important than money. (Mt. 18:32-33)

q. Hope in glory of God, not earthly wealth (Rom. 5:2,5)

r. Be happy for others when succeed, not envious (Rom. 12:15,16)

s. He will give power to resist temptation (I Cor. 10:13)

t. Be thankful for what you have (Isa 25:1)

F. Confess/Forsake Your Faults. (Pr. 28:13)

G. Commit Yourself to Lifelong Learning (Wisdom-Seeking)

1. Exhibit Humility

a. Following Jesus' example of humility (Phil. 2:5-8

b. By denying self rather than exalting (Lk. 9:23)

c. Results in riches, honor, life (Pr. 22:4) (see millionaire next door)

d. Humble self to be exalted (Mt. 23:12)

e. Because pride comes before a fall (Prov. 17:5,18)

2. Learn From Your Parents

3. Get an Abundance of Counselors

4. Hang Around the Wise

G. Be Integrous

1. Take care of other's things. (I Cor. 4:2 (given trust))

2. Comply with the law (vs on so that have nothing to say ag/; Rom. 13:1,7)

H. Watch over your heart.(Mt. 15:8,9; Eph 4:22,23)

1. All for God's glory (I Cor. 10:31)

2. Don't become judgmental. (Rom. 14:10)

3. Let God change your wants (Eph. 4:22,23)

I. Be faithful (Lk. 16:10; I Cor. 4:2)

J. Be Generous

1. Share troubles/ problems (Gal. 6:2,9)

2. By helping "the least of these," I help Jesus (see tipping point) (Mt. 25:40,45)

3. I help others, they help me (2 Cor 8:14)

4. Help friends with practical needs (Jms. 2:15,16)

5. Tithe will return (Mal. 3:10; Lev. 27:30

6. Give to those who ask (Mt. 5:42,47

7. All is His; riches and honor come from him. (Buffett on another country, another time) (I Chron. 29:11,12,16)

8. Look after orphans and widows (Jms. 1:27)

9. Give and will get (Pr. 3:9,10; Lk. 6:38, Acts 20:35)

10. Tithe, but don't forget justice, love, etc. (Lk. 11:42)

11. Be openhanded to the needy. (Deut. 15:11)

12. Jesus became poor, that we might become rich. (2 Cor. 8:9)

K. Don't Worry, Trust God (Ps. 37:5,6; Ps. 27:1,3; Ps. 9:9; Jn. 14:27)

1. He'll deliver from everything (Ps. 34:19)

2. Don't be anxious, but pray (Phil. 4:6)

3. It will turn out for good (Rom. 8:28)

4. Trials will result in good character (Jms. 1)

5. He will meet your needs according to His riches (Phil. 4:19)

6. Don't think it has to make sense. His thoughts are above ours. (Isa. 55:8,9)

7. He will instruct and teach (Ps. 32:8)

8. Don't be anxious for the future - will care for self. (Mt. 6:34)

9. Consider the birds, how God cares for them (Lk. 12:24)

10. Angels will guard you (Ps. 91:11)

11. His intentions are good (Rom. 8:32)

12. Although our minds plan, God directs. (Pr. 16:9)

13. Today's suffering not to be compared with later glory. (Rom. 8:18)

13. Pray (Lk. 11:8,9)

L. Keep growing wiser

1. The Fear of LORD is the beginning of wisdom.

2. Find knowledge/discretion (Prov. 8:12)

3. Search for with intensity (Prov. 2:3-5)

4. By wisdom a house bult, by understanding it is established (Prov. 24:3,4)

5. Learn from parents (Pr. 15:20)

6. Learn from spouse (Gen. 2:24)

7. Be humble enough to ask questions. (Mt. 23:12; Pr. 28:26)

8. Hang around the wise to be wise

9. Don't hang out with bad company (I Cor. 5:11)

I. Making Money

A. With Integrity (II Cor 7:1; 2 K. 12:15)

1. No Bribes (Pr. 15:27)

a. Bribes turns the wise into fools (Ecc. 7:7)

b. Bribes corrupt decisions (Deut. 16:19)

2. No Cheating (Prov. 20:10)

3. No Favoritism (Jms. 2:1)

4. Don't charge interest to your own countrymen

5. Don't profit from oppressing others (Ps. 9:9; Deut. 24:14-25)

a. Unfair interest (Pr. 28:8)

b. Usury (Pr. 28:8)

c. Underpaying (Mt. 10:10)

d. Oppressing the poor insults God (Pr. 14:31)

6. Don't be unequally yoked with non-believers (2 Cor. 6:14) (true believer, not just church-goer.)

7. Don't get even. (Pr. 24:29; Heb. 10:30)

8. Be faithful (Lk. 16:10 - even in little things; I Cor. 4:2)

9. Do what you say (Ecc. 5:5)

10. Be above reproach (Phil. 2:15)

11. Maintain a good reputation (Ecc. 7:1)

12. Set your non-negotiables (Dan. 3:17-18 - "even if He doesn't")

13. Be honest (Rom. 12:17; Pr. 19:22)

14. Be just (Pr. 17:8)

15. Motivation

a. Way of Wicked Will Perish (Ps. 1:6)

b. Brings Security (Pr. 10:9)

c. If pervert the way, will be found out (Pr. 10:9)

B. To Provide for Your Family (I Tim. 5:8)

C. Work Hard

1. At work (Prov. 6:6-8)

2. In spiritual endeavors (Rom 12:11)

3. Whatever you do (Col. 3:23,24)

4. Hand of diligent makes rich (Pr. 10:4)(See Millionaire Mind: Most first generation, worked harder than the rest)

5. If people won't work, neither let them eat. (2 Thes 3:10)

D. Sharpen Your Skills (Pr. 22:29)

E. Think TEAM

1. In marriage (Gen. 2:24 - cleave)

2. Accountability (vs. on confess sins to one another. Pr. 28:13)

F. Give back to community and customers

1. Important to have a good reputation (Ecc. 7:1)

2. More you give, more you get (Pr. 11:24)

G. Pray. Is a spiritual battle as well as physical. (Eph. 6:10,11)

H. Keep Growing in Wisdom (Pr. 15:22)

II. Saving Money

A. Flee Debt

1. Pay current debts quickly (Pr. 3:27,28; Mt. 5:25,26)

2. Because the borrower becomes the lender's slave (Pr. 22:7)

3. Leave no debt outstanding (Rom. 13:8)

4. Don't put up security for debts (Prov. 22:26-28)

5. We're shooting for freedom (2 Cor. 3:17,18)

B. Control Your Spending (Pr. 21:20 - "foolish swallows it up"; vss. on materialism + I Cor. 10:13 on temptation)

C.. Don't Cosign (Pr. 11:15; Pr. 17:18)

D. Think ahead (Pr. 21:5 - plans of the diligent)

1. During this Life

a. Seasonal Planning, like the ant (Pr. 6:6-8)

b. Plan for future crises (like emergency fund) Simpleton goes blindly ahead and suffers. (Pr. 22:3; 27:12)

c. Plan for projects (Lk. 14:28)

d. Save for future needs. (Pr. 21:20)

1. For After Your Death (Wills/etc)

Ps. 42:10,11

Leave inheritance to children's children

Rich in midst of pursuits will pass away.

E. Save Steadily (Not Get Rich Quick)

1. Those who make haste to get rich won't go unpunished. (Pr. 28:20)

2. Those who make haste to get rich come to poverty. (Pr. 21:5)

3. Better a living that makes sense than a "scheme" (Ecc. 6:8,9)

F. Think TEAM

G. Protect Your Money (Insurance, implied by fallen world where bad happen even to good people. If wear seatbelts, extend this to your things.) (Ps. 49:10,11) Both wise and foolish alike will perish.

III. Investing Money

A. Pay only the Taxes You Owe (Caesar's to Caesar, God's to God, support family)

B. Diversify (Ecc. 9:11, 11:1-6)

C. Think Long-term

1. Leaving inheritance to children's children (Pr. 13:22)

2. Eternal Term (Pr. 24:1; Ps. 49:10,11; I Jn. 2:17)

D. Save Steadily (Not Get Rich Quick)

1. Those who make haste to get rich won't go unpunished. (Pr. 28:20)

2. Those who make haste to get rich come to poverty. (Pr. 21:5)

3. Better a living that makes sense than a "scheme" (Ecc. 6:8,9)

E. Think TEAM

1. People differ widely in their strengths (I Cor. 12:4,5)

2. Two are better than one (Ecc. 4:9,10)

3. Practice candor and honest discussion (Jms. 3:17; Proverbs about laugh and scoff.)

F. Watch for Common Pitfalls

1. Lack of Discipline (Pr. 23:23 - get wisdom, discipline, understanding)

2. Not understanding investments (Pr. 23:23)

3. Following Gut Instincts

a. The way that seems right can be the way of death (Pr. 14:12)

b. The heart is desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9,10)

c. Don't envy when others getting rich quickly (Ps. 49:16,17; Prov. 24:1)

4. Not Guarding Against Downturns (Ps. 27:12)

5. Not following the crowd (Rom. 12:1,2 - not be conformed). Lemming Behavior. Stay on Course.

6. Being gullible to false claims.

a. Don't hang around deceivers (Ps. 101:7)

b. Simple believes everything (Pr. 14:15; 22:3)

c. Don't be gullible (Pr. 20:6)

I. Home Ownership as Good Investment (Pr. 3:33)

J. Know what's worthy of investment (Prov. 21:20 - precious treasure and oil in dwelling of wise; foolish swallows up)

K. Stay on Course (2 Cor. 6:8,10; Rom. 12:2)

IV. Enjoying Money

A. Keep It In Perspective

1. God First (Mt. 6:21,33; Phil. 2:3; I Jn. 2:17)

a. Consider all things loss in comparison to knowing Christ (Phil. 3:8)

b. Aim to please Him above all (2 Cor. 5:9)

2. Family (I Tim. 5:8 - If not provide for family, worse than infidel)

3. Keep the Main Things the Main Thing (Love God; Love People)

4. Don't tithe while ignoring other important matters like justice and love of God (Lk. 11:42)

5. Aim for heavenly treasures (Mt. 6:9-21)

6. Don't wear yourself out gaining wealth. (Pr. 23:4)

7. Person who knows right from wrong, has good judgment and common sense is happier than the rich. (Ps. 119:96,97)

8. Growing in character is more important than an easy life (Jms. 1:4)

9. Faithfulness over success (Well done good and faithful servant)

10. Beware of how the pursuit of wealth can bring destruction (I Tim. 6:9; Pr. 30:8,9)

B. Don't Worry (Phil. 4:6)

C. Help Others (Eph. 2:10)

1. The Lowly

2. Don't be greedy (Rom. 8:5; Lk. 12:15) or jealous (Jms. 3:16)

3. The poor (2 Cor. 8:9; Pr. 14:31)

4. Be cheerfully hospitable (I Peter 4:9; Heb. 13:2)

D. Blessings Promised to those who follow (Pr. 16:20)

1. On earth - Mt. 19:29

a. Wealth not bad (Ecc. 5:19-20)

b. Poverty can be bad spiritually (Pr. 30:8,9)

2. In heaven - Mt 19:29

E. Be thankful for what you have. (Isa. 25:1)

F. Keep your suffering in perspective (Rom. 8:18) (On journey to get $1 bil. inheritance. Somebody steals $90 cash from wallet. Jacob, treated unfairly, but blessed (Gen. 28:30), Joseph and Job.

E. It's Okay to Have Fun (Ecc. 2:24,25; 3:22, 5:18,19, I Tim. 6:17)

F. Keep in Mind What Psychologists Know About Happy People

Help Others (Bringing Happiness to Others Makes Us Happy) (Prov. 14:21, Acts 20:35)

Attitude Check (Count your blessings and be grateful) (Eph. 5:20)

Pursue Quality Relationships (With famiy and friends) (Ps. 133:1; Mt. 22:39)

Pardon Those Who Wrong You (Don't hold grudges) (Mt. 6:14,15)

Immerse Yourself in Something (Work and/or play) (Ecc. 2:24 + Gifts)

Envy Not (Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses) (Ex. 20:17 + Be Content)

Religion Helps (Ecc. 2:24; Ps. 128:1; Jn. 10:10)

 

Further Study

What does this mean? Pr. 20:16

p. 38, q. by John Wesley - "You cannot keep a devoted Christian poor. For by the very nature of God within him his frugality will eventually make him successful."