Money and Finances
There are over 2000 verses in the Bible which talk about money. I heard a pastor mention that there are more verses on this one subject than any other, including Heaven and Hell. Money can be a great tool, but as we looked at in the Temptation section, it can also be a thing that drives our decisions and has the potential to hold great control over us, especially if we don’t treat it with wisdom and respect.
What is the most important thing to realize about everything we have, including money, is that it all belongs to God and everything we have is a gift from Him. Our realization of this fact should bring us to the recognition of our responsibility with what God has given to us. With all He has given us, shouldn't we honor Him by returning back some of what He has provided to us? As well, we honor God when we also manage the balance that we keep, in how we spend it.
The Old Testament required a tithe, or 10%. The New Testament isn't as specific, but still has valuable principals.
What does the Bible say about Christian tithing?
Does a Christian have to tithe?
With the personal and national debt crisis that exists, it is easy to see that the money principles of the Bible haven’t been followed by the majority of people. If you want to avoid the hardships mismanaging money can bring, you need to do something different than what most are doing.
Our culture has bought into and pushes the lie that you have to have it now, that you shouldn't wait, that you deserve it. Immediate gratification, actually reduces how we feel about the value of something. If it doesn't cost much to obtain, it is human nature to get less pleasure from that thing. Satisfaction comes from filling a need. When you are hungry, you need food. Eating food then gives great satisfaction because it is filling a need. What if you had to eat something right after you had a filling meal. This wouldn't be very satisfying at all, would it?
An illustration I heard a number of years ago from Dr. James Dobson, the retired founder of Focus on the Family (www.focusonthefamily.com), was the practice of a well meaning parent to get a bicycle for a child before they can walk, and then get a car for the child before they knew how to ride a bike. That parent has short-circuited the need-satisfaction process, because the child didn't get the satisfaction of experiencing the need and then having it filled.
Another example was a TV news story I saw many years ago about a soda packaging plant who provided free soda for their employees during break and lunch. The company noticed that there were many cups of soda in the trash after break and lunch that only had a few sips taken. They changed their policy to charging 5 cents per cup. The waste almost disappeared. Why? Because the employees now associated a value with the soda.
This is human nature. When something doesn't cost us much, we don't assign much value. Think back to a time when you had to work for something before you received it. Or maybe you know someone who did. Did you/they appreciate it and take care of it more? Do you notice a difference in the way the car is taken care of between those you know who were given a car by their parents as compared to those who had to work for it? You've see that person who washes their car every week, who checks the air, oil, and everything else on the car, and can pretty much guarantee that they worked for it.
Come to think of it, this is similar to the reality that comes from asking someone how they've done keeping a few of the 10 commandments. It is only when we see our need for a savior that the work of the Savior has value.
I've gotten a little off track, but think back to what I indicated I told my sons about time and money. They are both a resource that you will never have enough of. As such, you have to decide how you are going to spend the limited resource, and when you decide to spend it on one thing you have automatically chosen not to spend it on anything else. I told them this so many times that I've ruined forever my ever enjoying the purchase of a Corvette - truly my dream car. Every time I drove it I would think about how much it cost and what I could have bought and had much money left over for other things including giving to ministries.
A saying that really fits this subject is:
"Everything in this life will pass.
Only what is done for Christ will last"
All the things we buy that have no eternal impact will ultimately deteriorate and eventually be burnt up. Do you really need the new iPhone X or could you purchase a lesser phone and put the difference toward something of greater value?
Look at the previous section on Temptation to see additional cautions as to the motivation of making money. The following sites will provide you with insight in this area.
God's Big Idea About Finances
Bible Verses About Money
Christian teen budgeting
Teen money management mistakes
Christian Personal Finance
Managing Our Finances
The Easy Way to Teach Teens About Money
Lesson 22: Managing Our Finances
How to Teach Teenagers About Money
Dave Ramsey has developed Financial Peace University to help people gain "financial peace" if they have anxieties and help those just starting out keep from every having financial anxiety. Many churches offer the program. Click the link in the Financial Peace section to find if there is one in your area.
Other Recommended Programs
Debt Proof Living
Crown Financial Ministries
You Need A Budget
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