Financial Freedom the Bible Way

by Larry C. Hamner

June 8, 2006


A much misunderstood and overlooked feature of the Bible is its doctrine on money and finances. Did you know the Bible has very distinct and clear teachings about what our attitude and actions should be in regards to everything financial? There are many a faithful tithers waiting for a heavenly window to open and shower them with wealth, yet they continue to live in poverty or struggle from payday to payday. In order to overcome this payday to payday lifecycle there are some basic biblical truths one must recognize and adhere to. I am not talking about becoming rich but simply controlling your financial destiny through applying the practical teaching of the bible. Financial wellness is no different from any other aspect of a healthy lifestyle. Like mental and physical wellness financial wholeness starts with the right attitude. Having the right attitude is one of the basic requirements for success of any kind. For Christians this begins with recognition of God as the sole source of everything we possess.

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“Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? For all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.”(1Chr. 29:11-14 KJV)

Prayer also plays an important role in financial wellness; it is through prayer we look to God for guidance in all our affairs.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”(Proverbs 3:5-6KJV)

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.”(Psalms 121:1-2KJV)

“Give us this day our daily bread.”(Matthew 6:11KJV)

Again attitude and approach is important. We must approach prayer with a firm belief that God will hear our prayer and grant our petition in accordance with his will and purpose for our life.

“And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” (Mar 11:22-24 KJV)

However, the focus of our prayer life should not be that of material gain and wealth, but rather that of a sincere desire to present ourselves righteous in the sight of God.

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”(Matthew 6:33KJV)

“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”(James 4:3KJV)

People who are financially healthy work! A good work ethic is vital to financial security. One of the fundamental teachings of the bible is that slackness and slothfulness leads to poverty and want.

“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.”(Proverbs 6:6-11KJV)

“Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.”(Prov 20:13 KJV)

“I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And lo, it was grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.”(Proverbs 24:30-34KJV)

Learning to live with a wholesome attitude toward work insures blessings from God, for it is the works of our hands that God has promised to bless.

“The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”(Deuteronomy 28:8KJV) “The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.” (Deuteronomy 28:12KJV)

Another critical component of the right attitude is developing good habits. Bad habits will quickly devour all the blessings that good hard work can generate.

“He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.” (Proverbs 21:17KJV)

“Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.” (Proverbs 23:20-21KJV)

A last word on the right attitude one should always remember God and his house.

“Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” (Proverbs 3:9-10KJV)

Never forget the firstfruits belong to God and his house, thus insuring divine favor from God and not curses. A word of caution do not confuse the first fruit offering with tithe. The first fruit offerings are the sheaf offering of Passover and the wave loaves of Pentecost. These are two of the three offerings of blessing that God requires of each household, the third being the harvest tithe of Tabernacles.

“Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. Go up to he mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord. Ye looked for much, and, lo it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? Saith the Lord of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house. Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit. And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands.”(Haggai 1:7-11KJV)

As you can see the scriptures clearly teaches the importance of adopting the right biblical attitude about finances. Once you develop the right biblical attitude toward finances there are several other principles that are vital to financial success. Let's look at a few.

Even Christians Need a Budget

The budget is the tool we use to avoid over spending or putting ourselves in untenable financial situations. The bible calls it counting up the cost.

The bible also tells us that we should learn how to manage our finances even when we don’t have much. Lack of a budget shows lack of stewardship and a poor accounting of God's blessings. Without a budget you’ll find yourself spending money you cannot afford to spend. Proper management of your income is a basic and essential principle of managing your finances the bible way.

“For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?”(Luke 14:28KJV)

“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?”(Luke 16:10–11KJV)

“Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation?” (Proverbs 27: 23-24KJV)

The Sad, truth about most people in Christian circles is they do not see stewardship as an important tenant of the teachings of Christ. They take the all we need to have is a good heart and pay our tithe approach to managing their finances; they believe how we manage our money and affairs in life is irrelevant. The bible is our guidebook to the abundant life that Christ envisioned for his people, therefore, even Christians need a budget.

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”(John 10:10KJV)

Christians must also Save and Invest

Saving and investing are also biblical principles that we must adhere to if we are to become financially whole. No budget is a real budget without a savings component. If you are always strapped for cash God has a solution and saving is a major part of it. It is encumbered of each of us as Christian and good stewards of God’s property to invest for future needs.

“There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.”(Proverbs 21:20KJV)

“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.” (Proverbs 6:6-8KJV)

“He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.

And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man reign over us.

And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.

Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.

And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou laidst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.

And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?

And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)

For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.” (Luke 19:12-26KJV)

Many Christians shun the notion of saving and investing because they do not see it as spiritual. This is not a reflection of sound biblical teachings. Rather yet the bible teaches us to embrace the idea of financial management and not separate it from our spiritual life. God expects us to take what he has blessed us with and use it wisely, otherwise we are not in a position to help others nor sow financial seeds to the up building of God’s kingdom.

The Bible and Giving

Giving is another one of the misunderstood components of financial wellness. Generosity and giving is the hallmark of Christianity, however, as with other financial matters we must be wise in our charitable deeds. The bible is very clear on what our giving priorities should be. God is first, family is second and everyone else follows.

“Honor the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.(” (Proverbs 3:9-10KJV)

“And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD's: it is holy unto the LORD.”(Leviticus 27:30KJV)

Many a saint has erred by taking bread from their children and giving it to others. It is, however, important to give to others as well. Charitable deeds are no different than any other important facet of life as a Christian God first and everything else follows. Running a very close second is the well being and welfare of our families. Although many a saint has erred by taking bread from their children and giving it to others. It is, however, important to give to others as well. When you prepare your household budget be careful to not overlook the poor and needy.

“But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1Timothy 5:8KJV)

”But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.” (Mark 7:27KJV)

“Give, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” (Luke 6:38KJV)

“And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 23:22KJV)

“He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.” (Proverbs 28:27KJV)

Although it appears somewhat paradoxical giving is an important element of our financial wellness. However, as with most things in life we must approach giving from a position of widsom. Biblical wisdom teaches that there are also those who we should avoid giving to.

“He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.” (Proverbs 22:16KJV)

As you can see the bible is not short on information concerning matters of finance. Money is a necessity of life, and should be view as such. Your money, however, is not truly yours it belongs to God and God expects you to follow His guidelines for its use.

“A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.” (Ecclesiastes 10:19KJV)

“And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.”(Deuteronomy 8:3KJV)

Tithing alone will not insure us of financial success. We must also have the proper perspective and handle our finances responsibly. If we learn and apply biblical principles in our financial affairs gone will be our pay day to pay day lifestyle.

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