Every year, millions of books about managing finances and improving your financial status have been published. However, do you know that there is one RELIABLE source of knowledge that you can always go to if you need tips on how to handle your money? Of course, I am talking about the Bible!
If you have any problem with your finances, or you want to establish a sound financial habit, then there is no better person to consult than the WEALTHIEST Being in the Entire Universe. He is the source of all wealth, and He is even the Owner of everything.
Therefore, in this blog post, let me share with you the financial advice that God gives through the Bible. Read on and improve your financial status today!
Principle no. 1: Create your budget
“Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and attend to your herds” (Proverbs 27:23-27).
“Sensible people will see trouble coming and avoid it, but an unthinking person will walk right into it and regret it later” (Proverbs 22:12).
While this is something fundamentally and VERY obvious, how many of us follow this biblical principle? The Bible tells us, or better yet, COMMAND us to make a budget!
Solomon, the wisest man during his time, tells us to be diligent to know the state of our flocks and attend to our herds. In other words, we need to determine our financial and business state. This is done by knowing how much money we have and how much money we are spending. It means that we need to identify how our money is exactly being spent. In short, we need to have a budget.
Careful planning and budgeting lead to BETTER spending decision. On the other hand, if you just go on with your life without budgeting, you will eventually lose track and even spend money that you don’t own.
Proverbs 22:12 adds that if you are prudent, you will be able to identify future problems and avoid it. This is no doubt can be achieved through diligent budgeting.
Yes, budgeting can be difficult, but it is harder to go on without a budget.
Principle no. 2: Save first before you spend
“Prepare your outside work, make it fit for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house” (Proverbs 24:27).
There is a proper sequence that we must follow in living this life. Proverbs 24:27 has many life applications.
First of all, this verse tells us to prepare ourselves first before building our house. Preparing ourselves include acquiring the necessary education and skills. Building your house also refer to having your family.
The Bible advises that we must have an established trade or profession before getting into a relationship that will lead to marriage. Having a family is not a joke. You need to have a steady stream of income to support your family. If you don’t follow this principle, you will surely have more difficulties in life.
Besides, this verse also tells us that you should not spend something that you don’t have. For you to “build a house” or spend your money, you need to FIRST “prepare your outside work” or save money.
Principle no. 3: Avoid debt as much as possible
“The borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7).
Benjamin Franklin said, “Rather go to bed supperless than rise in debt.” This portrays the importance of not going into debt.
The Bible tells us that those who borrow money become a servant to the lender. Today, credit card companies make it easier than ever to approve new applicants. However, you should know that buying items on a credit card will have its dire future consequences if you are not able to pay. Credit cards make us feel like everything is free. Commercialism shouts that we should have it NOW and just pay later.
Remember that when you buy something on credit, the interest rate will eventually double and even triple the price. So it is better to save money and buy on cash.
When it comes to this, you need to master the art of delayed gratification. Yes, you might enjoy buying something new today, but you will later suffer for your choice. It is always better to suffer now and enjoy a more pleasurable reward in the future.
Principle no. 4: Never commit adultery
“For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil… REMOVE YOUR WAY FAR FROM HER, and do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your honor to others, and your years to the cruel one; lest aliens be filled with your wealth, and your labors go to the house of a foreigner” (Proverbs 5-1-10).
“Whoever loves wisdom makes his father rejoice, but a companion of harlots wastes his wealth” (Proverbs 29:3)
I know that adultery does not seem to have a direct relationship to financial problems. However, the Bible counted is as one of the MAJOR CAUSES of financial trouble! Adultery and having an affair will not just cause you your wife, kids, friends, reputation, career, but also your MONEY.
So how can aliens be filled with your wealth when you commit adultery? For one, filing a divorce can be so expensive. The one you are just making rich is your attorney. Another way is that you can get blackmailed. When someone finds out your affair, that person may extort money from you.
Consider this: when you have an affair, you will spend so much money to start, sustain, and end it. All the money you spend for your secret cell phone, secret credit card, airline tickets, dates, hotel rooms, and many others would astronomically cost you!
Now, this is another reason for you to think twice before you get into an affair.
Principle no. 5: Educate yourself
“Riches and honor are with [WISDOM], enduring riches and righteousness” (Proverbs 8:18).
In general, those people who have good education have better chances of getting higher income. While it is true that college degree or formal education may cost a lot, it is one of the most important investments that you can ever make. Its benefits can be felt in the present as well in the future.
Of course, there are a lot of successful people who don’t have a formal education. This only shows that learning is not just limited to the four corners of a classroom. Therefore, get educated and acquire wisdom whenever you can – be it in a classroom or real life situation.
It is said that knowledgeable people learn from their experience, but wise men learn from the experiences of others. So don’t hesitate to read books, listen to speeches, and acquaint with successful people. Most importantly, educate yourself with godly wisdom and be led by God’s guidance.
Principle no. 6: Don’t be involved with getting quick rich schemes
“An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning will not be blessed at the end” (Proverbs 20:21).
“A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished” (Proverbs 20:20).
“A man with an evil eye hasten after riches, and does not consider that poverty will come upon him” (Proverbs 28:22).
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty” (Proverbs 21:5).
Most people want to get rich, and they want to get rich quickly! Well, the Bible says otherwise. Because of the desire to get rich in the fastest way possible, people suffer a lot of loss. Many pyramiding scams and get quick rich schemes sound so good to be true, and thus, a lot of people buy into it.
If you encounter things like this, you already know what the Bible say. You need to avoid this thing. Lotteries, pyramiding schemes, and illegal activities will only lead to destruction.
This principle is particularly helpful for young adults who are so eager to take on the world and be successful. They might be led to believing that financial security may come instantly. Thus, they are easy prey to swindlers and deceivers. Young adults need to be patient and take things one by one.
It is always better to take on the hard and long road toward financial stability rather than pierce yourself with a lot of pain that come along with getting rich in a very hasty manner.
Simply put: there is no substitute for hard work!
Principle no. 7: Never deceive others just to earn money
“Getting treasures by a lying tongue is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death” (Proverbs 21:6).
“One who increases his possessions by usury and extortion gathers it for him who will pity the poor” (Proverbs 28:8).
We know a lot of people who gain wealth through cheating, lying, and dishonesty. There are corrupt politicians who would earn more by stealing money, corrupt businesspeople who use unjust scales (and similar methods to take advantage of others), people who use fraudulent contracts, swindlers, and others.
These types of people will never have satisfaction. They will not be satisfied with their wealth because they did not work hard for it rather than they took the sinful shortcut. Though they may acquire wealth through deceiving people, they will eventually meet more problems and even die from it.
Principle no. 8: Develop financial self-control
“He who loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich” (Proverbs 21:17).
There is nothing wrong enjoying the labor your hand. However, if you put your whole heart into it, you covet and pursue pleasure, and it significantly consumes you, then you are on your way to poverty.
There are a lot of people who have been addicted to pleasures. This can be alcoholic drinks, drugs, gambling, and other vices. All these things will surely convince you to spend, spend and spend. Since you are addicted to it, you will soon find yourself selling other things just to satisfy your lust.
Therefore, it is important for you to develop self-control. Prodigal and luxurious living will eventually deplete your resources. Instead of investing your money in things that may generate more income, you are just burning your money on vices.
Think long and hard before buying something. In most cases, we can live without those things. If given more thought, you will make a better decision. Remember that human nature will always desire something. When something is already fulfilled, it will again look for another. It will never be satisfied. This is the main reason you need to develop self-control.
Principle no. 9: Never oppress the poor
“He who oppresses the poor to increase his riches, and he who gives to the rich, will surely come to poverty” (Proverbs 22:16).
“Do not rob the poor because he is poor, nor oppress the afflicted at the gate; for the LORD will plead their cause, and plunder the soul of those who plunder them” (Proverbs 22:22-23).
Some people thinks that the way to get rich is to oppress poor people. It is sometimes deceiving that for us to get rich, we need to “get more” rather than “give more”.
At first, it may be difficult to recognize how oppressing the poor will lead to poverty. However, there is a spiritual law set in this universe that those who give will be blessed and will not end up poor. Yes, it may be difficult to give when you are in need. However, God has promised that He will support all our needs as long as we follow Him.
Remember that the DEFENDER of the poor is God. When you oppress God, you are making Him your enemy. And I am sure that’s a position you don’t want to be.
Principle no. 10 & 11: Take a rest/There are more important things than money
“Do not overwork to be rich; because of your own understanding, cease! Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven” (Proverbs 23:4-5).
There are two vital principles we can derive from this verse.
First, take a rest.
If you live for the sole purpose of accumulating wealth and getting rich, then you are doing more harm than good. I know a lot of people who work seven days a week, and yet, they don’t get rich! Some people who only work 20-30 hours a week would even make more money than them!
Our body is not built to work 24/7. It needs rest. It needs time to recover. You will not be productive if you are tired, out of focus, and demotivated. You need time to rest to have the energy to reach your goals.
This is where the Sabbath comes in. There are a lot of benefits Sabbath can give. Setting aside a day every week for physical and spiritual rejuvenation will energize you for the rest of the week.
Second, there are more important things than money.
You need to realize, for you get money, you have to sacrifice something. In the process of acquiring wealth, you might need to sacrifice your time, energy, and even your social life.
Wealth can be intoxicating to that point that you might not get enough of it. In the process, you might be forsaking your relationship with your family and friends. Don’t let money be your master and never let yourself become a slave to it.
In the final analysis: How you earn your money is more important than how much money you make. Earn in such a way that you can still sleep peacefully at night.
Principle no. 12: Think about your children
“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous” (Proverbs 13:22).
If there’s one great motivation for you to make a better financial decision, that would be your children. Do it for them and not just for yourself. You will be at peace when you go down to your grave knowing that you left an inheritance for them rather than debt to pay.
Principle no. 13: Save for the rainy days
“Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise,
Which, having no captain,
Overseer or ruler,
Provides her supplies in the summer,
And gathers her food in the harvest.
How long will you slumber, O sluggard?
When will you rise from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to sleep—
So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler,
And your need like an armed man” (Proverbs 6:6-11).
Like the ants of the field, you need to save up for the rainy days. Tragedies and emergencies can happen without any warning. It’s a fact of life. So rainy days are not a matter of if, but WHEN. You’ll be glad if you have some money in your pocket that you can use when emergencies strike.
Principle no. 14: Avoid promising to be responsible for someone else’s debts
“Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge, one of those who is surety for debts; if you have nothing with which to pay, why should he take away your bed from under you?” (Proverbs 22:26)
God cautions us to about suretyship. It is something that you shouldn’t foolishly do. There are just so many risks that come with it.
Principle no. 15: Be industrious
“Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before unknown men” (Proverbs 22:29).
“He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, but he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding” (Proverbs 12:11).
“The desire of the lazy man kills him, for his hands refuse to labor. He covets greedily all day long, but the righteous gives and does not spare” (Proverbs 21:25-26).
Success is no accident. It is obtained through hard work, persistence, and dedication. You will not wake up one day and find yourself successful. It is a result of consistent good habits. There is no shortcut to having a good financial status. Hard work is not optional. It is mandatory.
You won’t expect to get rich by doing nothing. You have to exert the effort and sacrifice sweat and blood to earn a living.
Principle no. 16: Be a giver
“It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
“There is one who scatters, yet increases more;
And there is one who withholds more than is right,
But it leads to poverty.
The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself (Proverbs 11:24-25).
“He who has a generous eye will be blessed,
For he gives his bread to the poor” (Proverbs 22:9).
God expects His people to live the life of giving rather than the life of getting. As a result, He gave a promise that there are more blessings in giving rather getting. Of course, this is something that is contrary to the human nature, and I am sure that it is sometimes painful to give.
Nevertheless, God wants us to reflect his character of giving. Look around you: some of the most miserable people on earth are those who don’t know how to give and those who are fearful of sharing even his blessings.
Principle no. 17: Entrust your financial condition to God
“Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine” (Proverbs 3:9-10).
“The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it” (Proverbs 10:22).
“By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life” (Proverbs 22:4).
“He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife, but he who trusts in the Lord will be prospered” (Proverbs 28:25).
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this, says the Lord of hosts, If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10).
I listed this not because it is the least important, but instead, this principle is the most important. I want you to remember and inculcate in your mind that God is the ultimate Source of all blessings. He is the One who gives us the ability to get wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18).
If you truly want to earn blessings, and not just any blessing, but GENUINE blessings, you need to put God first in your life. This is the most CRITICAL principle you need to apply to gain financial security. There are also a lot of benefits of giving tithes to God that you need to consider.
These are just some of the Biblical principles that you need to remember when dealing with money. Of course, they are easier to read than follow. However, if you take into heart these financial pieces of advice from the Bible, I am confident that you will have a better life.