What does God say about Christian money management & managing money? Should the way we manage our money as Christians look different than the way everyone else manages theirs? What exactly does it look like to be good stewards of our money?
Given that the Bible contains over 2300 verses referring to Christian money management and possessions, we clearly should see what it has to say. Let’s dive into Scripture and look at these 7 Biblical money management principles.
7 Money Management Principles for Christians
Biblical Finance Principle #1: It’s God’s money, not ours.
As I have prayed for God to reveal to me these Christian money management principles, this one is the very foundation of how we should handle our money.
We must stand on this firm foundation above all, and it is made clear by going to His Word.
Psalm 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
Haggai 2:8 The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty.
As Christians, of course our foundation is the Lord, and it’s so important to understand that He owns everything, including “our” Christian money management.
Our money is not our money. It’s actually His money, and He entrusts it to us!
Really let this sink in…
God — the Creator of the Universe — entrusts YOU with a portion of His resources and even His wealth!! Say what?!?!woman reading the Bible
No matter your history when it comes to money, no matter whether you feel like you’re “bad with money” or have never been able to manage it well, the Lord has enough confidence in you to give you some of His resources and wealth! Whoa!
He has full confidence in you managing His money, so there’s no reason for you not to have confidence in yourself!
You DO have the ability and power to be a good steward when it comes to the money the Lord trusts you to manage!
By the way, if you’re wanting a step-by-step process to manage money God’s way, sign up for the FREE 5 Day Challenge here. When you do it His way, it changes everything! What seems impossible can absolutely become possible!
There’s also the other side of this where you may be feeling like you manage money very well. Boy, did the Lord reveal to me some areas where I wasn’t stewarding well AT ALL. My number one mistake — not praying over my budget!
So whether you’re feeling fear that you are “bad with money” or feeling pride that you’re doing great, let God guide you through this and remember He is the Lord. We are not to make money an idol in either direction (from fear or pride).
Biblical Finance Principle #2: We must learn to be content
Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
It is so easy to become consumed with constantly wanting the next thing. Advertising and social media certainly do not help with this.
We are bombarded daily with seeing things that are better than ours, bigger than ours, and fancier than ours. It’s easy to fall into the comparison trap and think we deserve those things too.
We must learn that whatever the Lord has entrusted to us is enough
Regardless of how little — or how much — money or possessions the Lord has given us to manage, we must learn to be content, knowing that it is enough.
As Christians, we know that our worth and identity come only from the Lord, not our money or possessions. Though it is a battle to believe at times, when we keep this knowledge front and center, we can remain content.Scripture to overcome financial stress
Philippians 4:11-13 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Really, if Paul could be content, we certainly should be able to do the same 😉
Biblical Principle #3: Give cheerfully and generously
1 Timothy 6:18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share
Our first command to give involves tithing
Proverbs 3:9 Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops;
Malachi 3:10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.
A tithe by definition is “a tenth part.” If we believe that as Christians, we should be tithing, we must tithe 10%. There is no such thing as tithing 3% or 6%. You can only tithe 10%, by definition.
As God leads, we are also called to give above and beyond the tithe
Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
We must pray about what God is calling us to give above and beyond our tithe. He may call us to give to organizations or charities monthly, or it may be a one-time thing as He leads.
This is something that we may not be called to do on a large scale, as we first begin to steward our money well. This is especially true if we are currently in debt. But, as God begins to reveal to us about our Christian money management and where we have “extra” money in our budgets and He shows us where it should go, we should be very open to His leading to give more.
how to be a good Christian steward of money
Biblical Principle #4: Save wisely and prayerfully
Go to the ant, you sluggard;consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander, no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.
As Christians, we must save wisely. All throughout our lives, we have seasons (just like the ants) where our savings will come into play.
We must save purposefully for short-term needs.
The season we ABSOLUTELY must be prepared for is a small emergency. If something comes up, where we need some extra money to pay for it, the Lord can provide with a small emergency fund. If we do not have this in place, it will be too easy to resort to debt to pay for an emergency.
Other short-term savings include intentionally planning for an expected event. Examples include saving up for maternity leave/hospital bills, a car that needs to be upgraded to a more reliable one, or a medical procedure that needs to happen.
woman prayingPray for the Lord to reveal to you things you personally may need to be saving for. This way you are able to prepare in advance (as reasonably as possible) and be ready for them.
We must also save carefully and prayerfully for long-term needs
Examples of long-term needs include a larger emergency fund, kids’ college funding, and of course, retirement. If you are super intense in getting out of consumer debt, these long-term savings goals can usually wait until after you’re out of debt.
We also must be careful with Christian money management by saving too much. Money that God entrusts to us NOW can be used for kingdom needs NOW, rather than being held for future needs.
This is where prayer is our guide, as always. We want to honor the Lord in saving for our long-term needs, but we certainly don’t want to hoard money just for ourselves or for our future.
Biblical Principle #5 : In exercising Biblical financial stewardship, we must spend with discipline
We must be wise and disciplined in our spending. Learning to be content with what He’s entrusting to us is a huge part of this and allows us to keep our spending under control.
There is desirable treasure,
And oil in the dwelling of the wise,
But a foolish man squanders it. NKJV
Overspending (spending outside of God’s will or provision) can hinder our giving and saving. We can easily become foolish when we spend.
But as we pray over the spending categories of our budget, God will show us where our money should go. (By the way, join us in the Money Savvy Moms private Facebook group to grab a free little workbook and figure out where your money has been going.)
What can help prevent us, as Christians, from frivolous spending?
We can use this question quoted from John Wesley to help (in budgeting and in the moment of spending):woman worshipping
“In spending this money, am I acting as if I owned it, or am I acting as the Lord’s trustee?”
Remember, God owns it all anyway, right? So let’s remember it’s His when we spend cash or swipe a card.
Now, hear me loud and clear: we must be disciplined with our spending…but that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy some things too!
God’s Word says it’s okay to spend on things we enjoy!
1 Timothy 6:17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
God doesn’t usually call us to spend on only the bare necessities (for some, He may, so I won’t say He never does this). But He most certainly gives us permission to spend on things we enjoy! After all, He has given us those desires of our hearts.
Spending on things we enjoy (prayerfully and with discipline), can allow us to continue serving the Lord where we are feeling called to do so.
An example is taking a vacation. It could be seen as frivolous spending by some. Yet taking a much-needed vacation can allow us to refresh, re-energize, and renew ourselves so when we return home, we can continue serving others to the best of our ability.
Biblical Financial Principle #6: Know the consequences of debt and keep from being enslaved
How should we think about debt as Christians and where should it fall into play as we seek to become good stewards of our money?
Among the many Bible verses on money management, these stand out regarding debt.
Proverbs 22:7 The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.
1 Corinthians 7:23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings.
God’s Word makes Christian money management makes it clear that debt is not usually a good thing. It enslaves us. And, in essence, when we have debt, the money God allows us to earn now is already promised to someone else.
If we are currently in debt, we must quickly start the process of becoming debt-free. We can do this by following 7 simple steps to debt freedom.
Get rid of debt forever!
Whether we are currently in debt or not, we must get in the mindset of not taking on future debt. By seeing debt from a common sense standpoint as well as asking these Biblically grounded questions to help avoid debt, we can continue to avoid it in the future.
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Biblical Financial Principle #7: Love the Lord, not money
Above all, when we recognize one of the most commonly misquoted verses of the Bible, we will be able to confidently begin to manage money the way God calls us to.
Which verses sum up financial discipline in the Bible?
1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
We must love God above all else, especially money. His Word makes it clear that it’s one or the other. Once we get our hearts and minds right in that aspect, we will be able to steward our money well and with Biblical discipline.
How to Manage Money as a Christian
Summary of Good Biblical Financial Stewardship
Each of the above principles will challenge us in different ways when it comes to managing our money. Biblical financial stewardship is clearly not something that is commonplace today. Yet knowing that the Lord owns all of “our” money is the place to start.
As we allow Him to transform our minds and hearts, we can learn to be content, to give cheerfully and generously, and to save wisely. Our spending will be disciplined, yet leave room to enjoy life to the full.
God will bless our efforts by giving us the provision and the way to live debt-free. And, above all, we will learn to truly love and serve Him, not money.
I pray these principles over your life. So you can truly have that abundant life Jesus desires for us!
As always, steward your money Christian money management — and your life — intentionally.