Your beliefs about money will have a significant impact on how you handle the funds that God has blessed you with, be it a little or a lot.
The reasoning is simple: your beliefs about money will shape your behavior towards money, and your behavior will determine your financial outcomes.
Over the years, I have noticed that many Christians hold beliefs about money which, I believe, are simply not true! This is hardly surprising when you consider the wide range of people and organisations from which we receive information.
There are many examples, including:
- Our families
- Our friends
- Work Colleagues
- The Bible
- The Media
The media is bombarding us daily with messages about money. Many of these messages are often very different from what the Bible itself says and are made in ways that are potentially harmful. This applies particularly to the incessant promotion of debt which the Bible clearly warns can lead to slavery.
Christians therefore need to evaluate their money mindset as part of laying the right foundations for sound money management. The only way to do this is by learning what the Bible says about money and then determining how our thinking lines up against it.
Whose Money Is It Anyway?
Let me give you two bible passages that should help shape our perspective:
“The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.”
“I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world is Mine, and all its fullness”
Psalm 50: 11-12
So what does that mean for money?
The money we have in our pocket that we typically think of as ours, which of course, in one sense is legally true, but the reality is that the resources we have in our control are a gift from God and the money we have in fact belongs to Him; and we are called to be good stewards.
For most of us, the idea that our money is really God’s is a big mental shift. It is truly life changing when you reflect on the idea that you have the privilege of being the manager of some of God’s resources in this fleeting life we have on earth.
Let’s look at this a bit closer, with the famous “Parable of the Talents.” Interestingly enough it’s also called the “Parable of the loaned money” which I really love because it really highlights the fact that the money we have is really on loan to us from God. Have you ever contemplated the idea that the money you have is really a temporary loan from the Father?
Here’s the passage from Matthew 25: 14-30:
14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’ 21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.
25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?
27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”
What can we learn from this?
- Jesus is the Master and one day he will return (v.19)
- When Jesus returns or if we pass away first, everything you have said, thought or done will be frozen in time. There will be no more chances to give to that organisation you “planned” to one day give to, or help that neighbor who was in need. Now is the time to act.
- We will be given a fair appraisal of what we have done with God’s resources, regardless of whether it was a little or a lot. (v.21)
- We are to put the resources he has given us to work in order that they might earn a return (v.27). This of course is far more than just money. It is about getting an “eternal” return on the investment that God has made through us with all our resources, be it money, skills or talents.
- He entrusts us (v.14). We have the privilege of being the managers of some of God’s precious resources while here on earth. How we handle it will determine whether we get more or less (v.15). If we want to look after more of God’s resources then we need to be faithful with what we already have first.
- How are we going to get a good (eternal) return on his investment?
- God is making an investment through us, not for us, but for him. We often forget that we are here to build God’s kingdom not our own. Does money flow through you or does it just stop in your bank account and meet only your needs?
- Jesus hates laziness, sloppiness (v.26). We are to work hard for him.
- There will be an eternal reward (v.21 & 23)
As you can see we need to clarify our money beliefs. God has blessed us each with different levels of financial resources and he asks us to manage it on his behalf to the best of our ability and in a way that is deliberately setting out to honor and glorify him. Starting today, ask God for his guidance and plan how you will invest in his kingdom.