How Should I Handle Money? (Y1.T2.D22)
The Bible has very clear guidance on how to manage money when we have it.
Putting God above money is paramount because: "No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You aren’t able to serve God and Mammon” (Luke 16:13).
Once money has been placed in the proper position in our lives, we should seek God's wisdom to properly handle it. Although I've learned to have a successful relationship with money, I'd like to offer the advice of an expert, Dave Ramsey, who's been giving sound financial advice from a biblical perspective for years.
He lists the following three points about the differences between worldly and godly advice from a post titled, "God's Ways of Managing Money":
The world says: YOLO! You only live once! Indulge first and save later.
God says: Pay yourself by saving. Then enjoy the fruits of your labor. (Proverbs 13:22)
The world says: Spend all of your money on yourself. There’s no way you’ll have anything left over!
God says: Give 10% off the top and work toward being able to give even beyond that. (Malachi 3:10)
The world says: Debt can be a tool to buy things you couldn’t otherwise have.
God says: Debt is bad. There’s no such thing as good debt. (Proverbs 22:7)
These are all great examples of choosing God's plan over the world's.
Now, before we throw the baby out with the bathwater, I want to remind you that not all financial lessons from the world are bad.
It’s okay to go to non-Christian professionals who exhibit expertise and wisdom. This includes doctors, teachers, and contractors, as well as financial advisors.
Consider the commendation Jesus gives to a dishonest manager who had done wisely:
For the children of this world are, in their own generation, wiser than the children of the light. I tell you, make for yourselves friends by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when you fail, they may receive you into the eternal tents. He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much. He who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. (Luke 16:8–10)
Proverbs 13:20 reminds us: "One who walks with wise men grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm."
The best way to manage your money is to put God on the throne of your financial life, then be willing to seek wise counsel to manage the rest.
Increased Our Financial Wisdom
1 A wise son listens to his father’s instruction,
but a scoffer doesn’t listen to rebuke.
2 By the fruit of his lips, a man enjoys good things,
but the unfaithful crave violence.
3 He who guards his mouth guards his soul.
One who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
4 The soul of the sluggard desires, and has nothing,
but the desire of the diligent shall be fully satisfied.
5 A righteous man hates lies,
but a wicked man brings shame and disgrace.
6 Righteousness guards the way of integrity,
but wickedness overthrows the sinner.
7 There are some who pretend to be rich, yet have nothing.
There are some who pretend to be poor, yet have great wealth.
8 The ransom of a man’s life is his riches,
but the poor hear no threats.
9 The light of the righteous shines brightly,
but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.
10 Pride only breeds quarrels,
but wisdom is with people who take advice.
11 Wealth gained dishonestly dwindles away,
but he who gathers by hand makes it grow.
12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but when longing is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.
13 Whoever despises instruction will pay for it,
but he who respects a command will be rewarded.
14 The teaching of the wise is a spring of life,
to turn from the snares of death.
15 Good understanding wins favor,
but the way of the unfaithful is hard.
16 Every prudent man acts from knowledge,
but a fool exposes folly.
17 A wicked messenger falls into trouble,
but a trustworthy envoy gains healing. (Proverbs 13:1–17)
1 He also said to his disciples, “There was a certain rich man who had a manager. An accusation was made to him that this man was wasting his possessions. 2 He called him, and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’
3 “The manager said within himself, ‘What will I do, seeing that my lord is taking away the management position from me? I don’t have strength to dig. I am ashamed to beg. 4 I know what I will do, so that when I am removed from management, they may receive me into their houses.’ 5 Calling each one of his lord’s debtors to him, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe to my lord?’ 6 He said, ‘A hundred batos of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘How much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred cors of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’
8 “His lord commended the dishonest manager because he had done wisely, for the children of this world are, in their own generation, wiser than the children of the light. 9 I tell you, make for yourselves friends by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when you fail, they may receive you into the eternal tents. 10 He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much. He who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11 If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 If you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You aren’t able to serve God and Mammon.”
14 The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they scoffed at him. 15 He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts. For that which is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God." (Luke 16:1–15)
18 Poverty and shame come to him who refuses discipline,
but he who heeds correction shall be honored.
19 Longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul,
but fools detest turning from evil.
20 One who walks with wise men grows wise,
but a companion of fools suffers harm.
21 Misfortune pursues sinners,
but prosperity rewards the righteous.
22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
but the wealth of the sinner is stored for the righteous.
23 An abundance of food is in poor people’s fields,
but injustice sweeps it away.
24 One who spares the rod hates his son,
but one who loves him is careful to discipline him.
25 The righteous one eats to the satisfying of his soul,
but the belly of the wicked goes hungry. (Proverbs 13:18–25)
Everything I have comes from You, and I'm humbled. Help me to continue to be faithful and honest with whatever You've given me (Luke 16:10). You deserve all the glory, honor, and praise. Please send me the counsel of wise men (Proverbs 13:20). I want to live this life in service to You and not material things (Luke 16:13).
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