What Does the Bible Say About Making Money?

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A stack of coins with a bible in the background

One of the most fundamental questions often asked by those seeking spiritual guidance is what the Bible says about making money. Many people wonder if it’s acceptable to strive for financial success or if it goes against Christian teachings. This article aims to shed light on this subject by exploring what the Bible says about money, wealth, and the attitudes believers should have towards them.

Understanding the Biblical Perspective on Wealth

The Bible has quite a lot to say about money and wealth. Contrary to what some may think, it does not condemn wealth itself but addresses the importance of how it is obtained and used. Wealth can be a blessing, but it can also be a source of temptation and corruption if not handled properly.

Let’s delve into the Bible’s account on the role of money and how some biblical figures related with their wealth.

The Role of Money in the Bible

Money and possessions were prevalent themes throughout the Bible. Money itself was neither good nor evil, but merely a tool. It was often used in trade, in paying debts, and in establishing covenantal relationships. It even served symbolically in different contexts.

For example, in the Old Testament, the Israelites used money as part of their religious practices. They would bring offerings and sacrifices to the temple, which required the use of money to purchase the necessary items. This demonstrated the importance of money in their worship and devotion to God.

In the New Testament, money was also a significant aspect of Jesus’ teachings. He spoke about the parable of the talents, where individuals were given different amounts of money to invest and multiply. This parable emphasized the responsibility that comes with wealth and the need to use it wisely.

These uses of money illustrate its neutral role. The moral and spiritual implications arise not from money itself, but from human attitudes and behaviors towards it.

Biblical Figures and Their Relationship with Wealth

Several biblical figures were wealthy, like Abraham, David, and Solomon. Their wealth was seen as a blessing from God and was often used for benevolent purposes. Abraham, for instance, was known for his generosity and hospitality, using his wealth to provide for others.

David, as a king, had vast riches at his disposal. However, he recognized the importance of using his wealth to support the kingdom and its people. He invested in building the temple and ensuring the welfare of his subjects.

Solomon, renowned for his wisdom, also had great wealth. He used his riches to enhance the kingdom’s prosperity and reputation. People from all over the world came to witness his splendor and seek his wisdom.

However, the Bible also features stories where wealth led to corruption and moral decay, like the rich young ruler who couldn’t give up his wealth to follow Jesus. This account serves as a cautionary tale, reminding us that wealth can become a stumbling block if it becomes our primary focus and takes precedence over our relationship with God.

From these accounts, it becomes clear that the Bible does not condemn wealth per se, but warns against the dangers of putting wealth before God. It emphasizes the importance of using wealth responsibly, with a heart of generosity and a focus on the well-being of others.

Key Bible Verses About Money and Wealth

The Bible contains many verses that give guidance on how to view and handle money and wealth. These verses provide valuable insights into the proper perspective and use of financial resources. Let’s explore some key verses from both the Old and New Testaments.

Old Testament Teachings on Wealth

The book of Proverbs, known for its wisdom, contains numerous sayings about wealth. Proverbs 22:1 underscores the value of a good name over riches, emphasizing the importance of character and integrity. This verse reminds us that our reputation and the way we treat others are far more valuable than material possessions.

In Proverbs 13:11, we are warned about the dangers of acquiring wealth hastily. It teaches us that wealth accumulated too quickly is often fleeting and can easily dwindle away. Instead, the verse encourages us to adopt a patient and diligent approach, gradually increasing our resources over time.

These verses and many others found in the book of Proverbs stress the virtue of righteous living and hard work. They caution against placing excessive importance on amassing wealth, reminding us that true prosperity comes from a life of integrity, wisdom, and faithful stewardship.

New Testament Teachings on Wealth

In the New Testament, Jesus Himself often spoke about money and wealth, providing profound insights into their proper place in our lives. In Matthew 6:24, Jesus unequivocally asserts that a person cannot serve both God and Money. This powerful statement reminds us that our devotion and allegiance should be directed towards God, not towards material possessions.

Furthermore, Jesus warns that our hearts are closely tied to our treasures. In Matthew 6:21, He teaches that where our treasure is, there our heart will also be. This verse serves as a powerful reminder that our priorities and values are reflected in how we handle our finances. It encourages us to align our hearts with God’s kingdom and invest in eternal treasures rather than being consumed by worldly wealth.

The teachings of the apostles in the New Testament echo these sentiments. In 1 Timothy 6:10, the apostle Paul warns believers about the love of money, emphasizing that it is the root of all kinds of evil. This verse reminds us to guard our hearts against the allure of wealth and to prioritize contentment and godliness over material gain.

Throughout the Bible, we find a consistent message that encourages us to view money and wealth through the lens of godly wisdom. These verses remind us of the importance of integrity, hard work, contentment, and a proper perspective on material possessions. They guide us towards a life that is characterized by responsible stewardship and a focus on eternal values.

The Bible’s View on the Love of Money

The Bible explicitly cautions against the love of money, equating it to the root of all kinds of evil in 1 Timothy 6:10. This section will delve into related themes like the dangers of materialism and the pitfalls of greed.

The Dangers of Materialism

The Bible warns about the dangers of materialism, or the excessive desire for material goods. It is equated to idolatry in Colossians 3:5 and seen as a hindrance to spiritual growth. The allure of material wealth can distract from God and lead people into harmful desires that plunge into ruin and destruction.

Moreover, the Bible clarifies that life’s value extends far beyond the abundance of possessions, encouraging believers to store up treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal (Matthew 6:19-20).

The Pitfalls of Greed

Greed, according to the Bible, is a dangerous pitfall. It breeds discontent, fosters dishonesty, and causes strife. It is, in essence, a desire to acquire more than what is needed or rightfully earned. The Bible strongly condemns such attitudes, encouraging believers to be content with what they have.

Remember, it is not the existence of wealth that is problematic, but the improper affection for it.

The Concept of Stewardship in the Bible

An impactful biblical principle concerning wealth is the concept of stewardship. Instead of viewing ourselves as the owners of our wealth, we are called to see ourselves as stewards or managers of God’s resources. This section delves into biblical principles of stewardship and how to be a good steward of your wealth.

Biblical Principles of Stewardship

The Bible teaches that everything we have comes from God and belongs to Him (Psalm 24:1). As believers, we are entrusted with those resources and are responsible for using them wisely. This includes not only money but also talents, time, and other blessings.

We are called to manage these resources in a way that honours God, benefits others, and advances the Kingdom of God.

How to Be a Good Steward of Your Wealth

Being a good steward of your wealth involves operating with integrity, being generous, saving for the future, and avoiding debt. These practices echo biblical teachings like Proverbs 13:11 and 2 Corinthians 9:6-8.

Remember, good stewardship is ultimately a reflection of one’s faithfulness to God.

Generosity and Giving in the Bible

Last but not least, the Bible talks a great deal about generosity and giving. As followers of Christ, believers are encouraged to share their resources with those in need and to support the work of the church.

The Importance of Generosity

Generosity reflects God’s character and His generosity towards us. The Bible encourages a spirit of generosity, saying that “whoever sows generously will also reap generously” (2 Corinthians 9:6).

Generosity not only blesses the receiver but also the giver, bringing joy, blessing, and spiritual enrichment.

Biblical Examples of Generosity

The Bible contains many examples of generosity. From the widow’s mite to Zacchaeus, these stories illustrate the impact of giving, regardless of the amount. They teach us that God looks at the heart behind the giving, not the size of the gift.

In summary, the Bible’s teachings on money revolve around responsible stewardship, wise management, and a generous spirit. It is not wealth, but the love of it, which can lead to harmful consequences spiritually, emotionally, and even physically.


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