“When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life,” once said the 19th century Irish writer and poet, Oscar Wilde. Then he added, “Now that I am old, I know that it is!”
If the truth is known, this may be the feeling of many people today. It seems that money occupies a part of almost every day. We work to make money. Save money. Spend money. Invest money. Give money.
Bills come in the mail saying we owe money. We read Money magazine. We watch CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Mad Money give us financial advice. Or attend a Financial Peace seminar by Dave Ramsey on money management.
We watch the news and learn that our country is 17 Trillion dollars in debt! That the average consumer is debt is at $2.43 trillion. The average household credit card debt is reported to be $14,687. The average college graduate has nearly $20,000 in debt. And College graduates have an average of $4,100 in credit card debt.
Money! Money! Money! We can’t escape it!
So, would it surprise you that money matters spiritually? There is actually more in the Bible about money and things that pertain to it than most topics preachers address.
Jesus talked much about money. Sixteen of the thirty-eight parables spoke of money and material matters. In the gospels an amazing 1 out of 10 verses deal directly with the subject of possessions. The Bible offers 500 verses on prayer, less than that on faith, but more than 2,000 verses on money and possessions.
Of course some well meaning soul may say, “You know what the Bible says, ‘Money is the root of all evil!’” This may be one of the most misquoted verses in the Bible. Actually it says “The LOVE of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” Then Paul adds this warning, “Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Tim. 6:10).
For Christians the proper attitude toward and use of money revolves around our stewardship. God owns everything! It’s all His! And He has entrusted us with the use of material possessions. That said, consider these 12 Biblical bullet points that speak to money, the proper use of it and attitude toward it.
◆Our Money is a Gift from God. Haggai 2:8
◆Money is neither Good Or Bad. 1 Tim 6:10
◆Money should be used to Support our Families 1 Tim. 5:8
◆Money should be used to Help those in Need. Eph 4:28
◆Money should be used to Pay our Taxes Rom 13:8
◆Money Should be Used to Pay our Debts. Rom 13:8
◆Money should be used to Supply Future needs–i.e. savings or investments.. Prov. 6:6-8;31:16
◆Money should be Used to Support the Lord’s Work. 1 Cor 16:1-2; 2 Cor 8-9
◆Money Should be Used to Give Gifts to Others. Jn. 12:3-7; Ps 37:21
◆Money Should be Used for our Personal Enjoyment. Eccl 3:12-13
◆Money Should be our Slave, not our Master. Matt 6:24
In closing consider these two quotes. One uninspired. The other inspired:
“Money molds men–in the process of getting it, of saving it, of using it, of giving it, or accounting for it. Depending on how it is handled, it proves a blessing or a curse to its possessor; either the man becomes a master of his money, or the money becomes the master of the man.
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Matt 6:24, NLT).
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman