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Christian financial expert Howard Dayton has said that the Bible references money and possessions 2,350 times. That’s a lot. It’s more than Jesus talked about love, and more than He talked about heaven and hell combined.
It’s almost as if God knew we would need lots of direction and clarity on the whole money and stuff issue. Ha! Does He know us well, or what?
So what’s in those 2,350 verses? Way more than we have time to talk about here. But I do want to highlight three of my favorites. These are the verses I turn to when I need a little guidance in my own financial decisions. I hope you’ll glean as much wisdom from them as I have.
1. 1 Timothy 6:6: “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” (NKJV)
It’s interesting to me that in God’s economy, we actually have “great gain” when we’re not driven by the quest for more.
We all have different vices. Mine has always been discontentment. I’ve always wanted to accomplish more, better, faster. But here’s the crazy thing: I’ve experienced the greatest gain when I was content regardless of the outcome. It’s okay to be driven to succeed, but it’s unhealthy when success dictates our happiness.
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Let’s not confuse contentment with apathy or lack of ambition, but let’s also not become so consumed with any pursuit that overshadows our pursuit of God Himself. Contentment is the most important characteristic of people who are successful with money. That’s because they think long and hard about the purchases they make and therefore have more money left over to save, invest and give.
2. Proverbs 13:22: “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.” (NKJV)
This verse keeps our life goals, our vision and our legacy front and center when we’re choosing how to use our money today. When we weigh what we want now against what we really want later, we realize how temporary satisfaction pales in comparison to a legacy of purpose and generational fulfillment.
And an inheritance is not limited to money. It also includes godly character qualities like integrity and trustworthiness. Combining a financial inheritance with wisdom and godliness ensures that the next generation will also manage God’s blessings God’s way for God’s glory long after I’ve graduated to heaven.
3. Proverbs 22:7: “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” (NIV)
I like this one because it speaks honestly about the relationship between a debtor and a creditor. God wants us to be in a position to hear from Him and to serve people in His name . . . not to be in bondage to payments. He wants us to have freedom and options. Many of us sense God calling us to do great things for Him, but when we’re in debt, we can’t.
What verses do you turn to when you’re seeking financial guidance? God has provided us with so much wisdom in this area as an act of love because He is for us, not because He wants anything from us. It’s worth digging into and finding some financial insight that motivates and inspires you!
Chris Brown is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host, pastor, and dynamic speaker carrying the message of stewardship and intentional living nationwide. Available on radio stations across the country, Chris Brown’s True Stewardship provides biblical solutions and sound advice for questions on life and money. You can follow Chris online at www.stewardship.com, on Twitter at @ChrisBrownOnAir, or at www.facebook.com/ChrisBrownOnAir.