Some money management principles from the Bible for Christians looking to improve their finances
Can you apply biblical money management principles to your finances and still be successful? What does the Bible say about money management? These are some of the most common questions Christians ask about their finances.
Like many of you, I grew up without knowing a lot about personal finance or how to manage my finances. After I became a Christian, I had no idea how to be a good steward or the importance of following biblical financial principles. It took years of mismanaging my finances and a financial crisis for me to wake up and get serious about changing my financial life.
As a Christian, the first place I looked for answers was the Bible. I love the Bible because it’s such a practical book that tells you the best way to live your life. Unfortunately, many of us ignore a lot of the teachings in the Bible, and we try to do things our own way or after the pattern of this world.
It usually takes a crisis or a serious problem for us to heed the warnings in the Bible. Thankfully, God is merciful and it’s never too late to have a change of heart.
So if you have been struggling with your finances or just want to learn about biblical financial management, this post is for you. Now, here are some biblical principles on money that every Christian needs to know.
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6 Biblical Money Management Principles Every Christian Should Know
1. BIBLICAL FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT BEGINS WITH EDUCATING YOURSELF AND BECOMING FINANCIALLY LITERATE
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
You can’t apply biblical money management principles if you don’t know what they are. The best way to learn about these principles is to study God’s word. What does the Bible say about your finances? Have you been a good steward?
After acquainting yourself with the word of God, the next step is to learn how to become financially literate. What’s missing in your life? Why do you struggle to manage your finances (if you’re struggling)? What do you need to do differently?
One of the reasons Christians mismanage their finances is because they lack financial knowledge. Many Christians (or people generally) don’t like to talk about money because they feel uncomfortable. Sadly, many churches don’t teach about personal finance so we have lots of Christians making financial mistakes because they lack the knowledge and tools to help them manage their finances.
But all hope is not lost. You can become financially literate if you put your mind to it. All you need to do is to commit to learning biblical money principles and applying them.
Here are some helpful resources for you to check out:
2. OBEDIENCE IS KEY TO FINANCIAL SUCCESS
“If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land” (Isaiah 1:19)
“I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your rules before me.” (Psalm 119:30)
For biblical money management principles to work for you, you need to obey them. It’s not enough to know what the Bible says about your finances. What’s truly important is what you do with that knowledge. Like the Bible says in James 4:17, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”
Now, don’t get me wrong, doing the right thing especially when it relates to finances can be pretty hard. For example, bad spending habits is one of the most difficult habits to change. It takes lots of trial and error to break this habit. However, it can be done, as long as there’s a willingness to change, to obey God, and do what he says about your finances.
You can’t apply biblical financial principles if you are not willing to obey the word of God. This is one instance where your action truly determines what you believe.
So if you’re serious about managing your finances according to biblical principles, you must be willing to obey what Jesus said about money.
3. AVOIDING DEBT IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT BIBLICAL MONEY MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES
“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” (Proverbs 22:7)
Debt is a form of bondage, yet sadly, many Christians walk into it with their eyes open. Signing up for consumer debt is one of the worst mistakes you can make if your goal is to be financially free.
While borrowing money isn’t necessarily a sin, the problem is it can cause you to sin and become disobedient to God’s word. Also, you can’t manage your finances well if you spend a large chunk of your income paying off debt.
Debt causes stress and can prevent you from serving the Lord as you should. Many families have been ruined because of debt and other financial problems, so it’s something you should avoid if possible.
So what if you are already in debt?
If you’re already in debt, there’s only one thing you can do. Make a plan to repay the debt. The Bible says in Psalm 37:21, “The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives.” So as a Christian, you should repay whatever you owe, as soon as you can.
Debt can impact the quality of your life and also rob you of a good future. So think about that the next time you feel like signing up for new debts or purchasing something you can’t afford on credit.
Out of all the biblical money management principles I have learned, avoiding debt is the one that’s helped me the most to achieve financial peace and stability. Because during lean times, I don’t have to worry about creditors or how to make ends meet on a limited income. It’s easier to manage your resources when you don’t have to pay off debt.
4. SAVING IS SMART AND BIBLICAL
“Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.” (Proverbs 21:20)
Saving is one of the pillars of personal finance because you can’t manage your finances effectively if you don’t have any reserves. One of the reasons many people fail to become debt-free is because they keep taking on new debt to pay for their living expenses. And the reason this happens is a lack of savings.
If you want to avoid future financial problems, you have to save and set aside money for your future needs. Saving money is hard! I know this because it took me a long time to save my first $500. Back then, as soon as I thought I was close to meeting my goal, something always came up to derail me.
It’s so tempting to want to give up when you’re trying to save some money and it feels like you’re not making any progress. But, you can’t give up because the more you save, the more financially secure you become. Having a savings account that you pay into every month or every time you receive a paycheck is one of the smartest things you can do.
I know some of you may be drowning in debt or think you don’t make enough money to save, but that’s the wrong way to look at things. Instead, think of your savings as a lifeline. A wall between you and future financial problems. When you look at it like that, you will feel more motivated to save as much money as you can.
I used to think it was pointless saving if I couldn’t save a reasonable amount of money at once. Don’t fall for that trap! Those $5 or $10 savings add up real fast over time. The key to saving money is to be disciplined and consistent.
You’ll always find an excuse not to save but you have to learn to resist and think of the long-term benefit. Saving money is a non-negotiable biblical financial principle for anyone who wants to be a good financial steward.
5. LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS
“And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15)
Telling people to live within their means sounds so simple and so logical but many people don’t do it. So many Christians spend more than they earn, as a result, they end up with financial problems and lots of stress.
I used to think it was impossible to live within your means because I was always out of money before the end of the month. However, when I decided to get serious with my finances, I realized it was actually possible to spend less than you earn.
You see, the reason why people struggle to live within their means is lack of discipline and discontent. Wanting things you don’t need or can’t afford will cause you to spend money that you either don’t have or can’t afford to spend. I can’t tell you how many times I have justified and made a purchase against my better judgment.
Many of you make spending decisions even when you know it’s unwise. Once you set your sight or heart on something, you feel like you must have that thing to be happy. Some of you want what other people have and don’t think or care about the cost until it’s too late. But we are told to guard against all covetousness because one’s life is far more than our possessions.
So how do you learn to live within your means?
You start by making a decision to be content with what you have. Next, you need a strong desire to do this. With desire comes a willingness and commitment to change. You can’t change your habits unless you have a strong desire and make a decision to follow through.
Lastly, you need discipline. No matter how strong your desire is without discipline your plan will fail. You need discipline to spend less than you earn and to keep yourself free from covetousness.
6. PLAN AND BUDGET
“Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds.” (Proverbs 27:23)
Managing money is complicated especially if you try to do it without a plan or a budget.
The reason many Christians run into financial problems is that they don’t have a budget or a spending plan. Without a spending plan, how do you figure out how much money you have to spend on your expenses and living costs?
Creating a budget and sticking to it requires discipline, that’s why so many people avoid it. But as a Christian, you can’t be a faithful steward if you don’t know the condition of your finances and how to spend and allocate your money. A budget is simply a tool that shows you how much you earn and how much you can afford to spend on your expenses.
Your expenses include different categories, and some categories require a higher percentage of your income than others. That’s why it’s so important to use a budget to plan out your spending so you don’t overspend in one category and run into financial problems.
Planning and budgeting are two very important biblical money management principles you can’t afford to ignore. You need a budget to help you keep track of your spending, achieve your financial goals, and enjoy financial stability.
So if you have been trying to manage your finances without a budget or spending plan, it’s time to change that. You don’t need to create a complex budget, all you need is a breakdown of your income and a list of all your expenses. Then, allocate an amount to each expense or category. When you do this, you can see at a glance if you have enough money to cover all your expenses or if you need to get rid of some expenses or earn more.
This is a great way to start if you’re new to budgeting, so why not give it a try?
Closing Thoughts on 6 Biblical Money Management Principles Every Christian Should Know
The Bible has a lot to say about money management. You can learn a lot and avoid financial problems if you pay attention to it. The six money management principles in this post are a good way for you to take control of your finances and manage your money in a manner that pleases God.
Pick one of these principles and start applying it to your life, if you want to see some changes in your financial life.
Which of these biblical money mamangement principles do you struggle with?