The Christian faith is something that I rely on tremendously. I think the Bible has a lot of great things to say about money and today, I want to cover a few key areas where the Bible matches up with what I teach people in my 9 Moves program and during financial sessions.
You may not be a Christian or may even be a non-believer, but I truly believe it is hard to refute biblical wisdom when it comes to money and financial wellness.
1. The love of money destroys everything.
A popular misquote from the Bible is "Money is the root of all evil", the text is actually "The love of money is the root of all evil" (1 Tim 6:10). It's the worship of money or even the idolatry of money that destroys people. They have such a deep-rooted tunnel vision that they lose sight of the things that are important.
This is a common theme throughout the Bible. Ecclesiastes 5:10 reads "Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless." If you love money and lose focus of everything else, you'll never earn a high enough income or make enough to satisfy you. That is because all of the money in the world can never truly satisfy anyone. That is not where pure joy is found.
2. Debt sucks and you should do your best to avoid it.
The biblical authors are a bit more eloquent than my summary, but the biblical position on debt is very clear: debt should be avoided. Now I know many experts talk about good debt and bad debt as well as unsecured and secured debt, but I think everyone should agree that no payments is far, far better than payments. Romans 13:8 talks about allowing no debt to remain outstanding. Another way of saying, always make sure you keep your word.
Proverbs 22:7, which is often cited, states that the borrower is slave to the lender. Meaning that until your debt is paid, you have a responsibility to that creditor. Sometimes we amass so much debt, we literally feel like financial slaves. One gentlemen on social media the other day had written "What's the point, we are just here to pay bills and die." That's a poor outlook on life and a quite pessimistic one at that. If you think that's all life is about, then that is what your life will be all about. Mindset is everything.
3. Cosigning loans is a stupid idea.
In the biblical world, there are several different translations depending on the publishing house and denomination of church. The Common English Bible, which reads much easier than the Old King James, states "One with no sense shakes hands on a deal, securing a loan for a friend" (Prov. 17:18). That can't be stated any clearer.
I actually wrote an article a while back on the poor decision of cosigning loans, so I will be brief here. Cosigning loans makes you liable for the payments if the primary individual on the loan defaults (cannot make the payments). The reason as to why they needed a cosigner in the first place should tell you whether or not it is a wise decision to cosign.
4. Maintain patience and be happy with what you have.
This one is tough. I lack patience to make the wisest financial decision sometimes, but biblically it makes sense to hold tight to patience and be satisfied with what you have been provided with. The reference here is Hebrews 13:5 which reads, "Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'"
In America, if you have an income of $56,000 (which happens to be the median income for Americans), you are in the top 0.23% in the world. That means globally, you are in the top fraction of the 1%. Sometimes we need to stop, look around, and take value of what we have and stop comparing ourselves to the Joneses, who are probably drowning in debt.
Short and simple. It feels good to give and God loves a cheerful giver. This is where some folks in the church give the wrong ideas to people. It isn't about 10% or 5% or even 15%. It's about the heart and the intentions of the gift. If you are giving under compulsion, what good is that? But if you are giving out of love, that's the whole ballgame, friends.
A text I like to reference for this is 2 Cor. 9:7, "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
The Wrap Up
Again, even if you are not a Christian, I think you would agree that all five of these principles are practical and if followed, would put someone in a position for success. Everyone defines success a bit differently, but this is one of those rare moments when objective principles can fit into a subjective statement. I hope you'll take the time to meditate on these passages and principles and ask: Am I living these out? If you aren't, what's stopping you?
As always guys, thanks for stopping by and reading. I appreciate the feedback and your time, which I know is a valuable asset. Have a great New Year.