What About Money?
Money is a tool that we use to glorify God. Money has great influence because it gives us power to obtain things, but it ultimately can only offer us a false security and can do nothing concerning the world to come. Believers don’t love or serve money. Our contentment is found in God through Jesus Christ. We work hard to earn our money, use it to bless others through giving, and manage it in a way that brings glory to God.
Believers’ Relationship With Money
- Believers should not love money. Money is neutral, meaning that it isn’t good or bad in itself. But the “love of money” is the root of all kinds of evil, meaning it leads to many types of errors and sins. Rich people often fall into many problems because they often have a love for money that causes them to make many foolish decisions. Money has hindered people from believing in Jesus and some have even turned away from serving Jesus to follow after money. Believers should flee from the love of money and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness.
Matthew 13:22; Mark 10:23; 1 Timothy 6:9-11
- Believers should not serve money. Our focus is towards heaven, thus we are working to lay up treasures in heaven and not material wealth here on earth. All earthly treasure will one day be ruined, but heavenly treasure will last forever. Also, our hearts follow our treasure. Where we decide to invest will affect the direction our hearts go. To be heavenly focused, means to serve God. To be earthly focused, means to serve money. You can’t serve both. Believers choose God because He is the most important thing in our lives, not money.
Matthew 6:19-24; 19:16-30; Exodus 20:3
- Believers should be content. Our contentment is not based on how much money we have or don’t have. Having food and clothes should be enough for us to be content concerning material possessions. We brought nothing into this world and we will take nothing out. False teachers believe that to be godly means having great gains or they use godliness to obtain great gains, but the Bible is clear: godliness with contentment is great gain. Ultimately, God is the source of our contentment.
1 Timothy 6:5-8; 2 Corinthians 3:5; 9:8; Philippians 4:11-13, 19; Hebrews 13:5
- Believers should find true riches in God. The riches of God’s goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering led us to repentance. We have redemption through His blood and the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. Through saving sinners like us, He made the riches of His glory known. He raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Romans 2:4; 9:22-24; 11:33; Ephesians 1:7, 18; 2:6-7; 3:16; Philippians 4:19
Believers’ Responsibility Towards Money
- Believers should work hard to earn their income. Those who have the opportunity to work and don’t because they are lazy, shouldn’t eat. We represent Jesus and should work hard and diligently, so that we can earn our own living to take care of ourselves and our family. We are not to be characterized as looking for free handouts but as hard workers who rightfully manage our money.
2 Thessalonians 3:10-15; 1 Timothy 5:8
- Believers should be generous givers. In Christ Jesus, we have been given so much, that giving becomes part of who we are. We recognize all that we have comes from God and we choose to use it for His glory. We give to others in need, to the poor, to our local churches, etc. We give cheerfully and willingly thanking God for all He has done.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8; 1 John 3:17-18; Philippians 4:15-16
Answers To Tough Questions
- What about Israel and their material blessings and riches? God blessed Israel in the Old Testament through giving them land and the possessions of the land. But the church is not Israel and we have been given a new understanding and new ministry in Jesus Christ. Today, God blesses us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.
1 Kings 3:11-13; 2 Chronicles 9:22; Ephesians 1:3; Hebrews 8:6
- Can believers be rich and wealthy? Yes, it is not a sin to have a lot of money, but the Bible commands those who are rich to not be arrogant and to not put their trust in their riches. Riches are uncertain, meaning they come and go. As believers, we put our hope in God, the one who gives us all things to enjoy.
1 Timothy 6:17-18
- Can believers go into debt? Yes, but it is not recommended. Believers should do their best not to go into debt unless they have no other choice because it makes you a slave to the lender. If a believer does borrow money, he should pay everything back according to the terms that were agreed upon.
Romans 13:8; Proverbs 22:7; Psalm 37:21
- Can believers lend money? Yes, but we should never use the situation to take advantage of others, especially the poor. Jesus tells us that when we lend we are not to expect anything in return as a way to demonstrate that we are children of the Highest. In return, He says He will reward us greatly. The gospel changes the way we do things, including how we borrow and lend money. We don’t charge high interest for personal gain or to hurt others. Often we should give without expecting anything in return. Other times we will need to forgive when others cheat us out of our money. The Old Testament teaches that Israel wasn’t allowed to charge interest to other Israelites and they couldn’t charge interest on any loan to the poor. In most situations, especially within interpersonal relationships, it would be wise to follow their example.
Matthew 5:42; 18:23-35; Luke 6:35-38 (Exodus 22:25; Deuteronomy 15:1-8; 23:19-20; Psalm 15:5; Proverbs 28:8)
- Do believers have to pay taxes? Yes, God has ordained the collection of taxes by the government. Believers are to pay taxes to the government because they serve in this position of authority and use the money to fulfill their duty.
Romans 13:6-7; Matthew 17:24-27; 22:15-22
- Can believers gamble? Gambling is not directly condemned in the Bible but there are many principles that show it is unwise and potentially dangerous. The enticement of gambling is getting rich quick, and the Bible warns against this. Gambling can become addictive, causing people to be controlled by it and lead to wasting money. Also, the gambling environment is often surrounded around other sinful activities for believers.
Proverbs 13:11; 23:5; Ecclesiastes 5:10
- Should believers love or serve money? Why?
- Believers should find true riches in whom?
- Believers should do what to get money?
- Should believers seek to get rick quickly?
- Believers should be generous what? Why?