I am not a theologian, nor do I claim to be an expert on any religious texts. But I do like to explore these important books and pick up nuggets of wisdom that can help me in my life. With that being said, here are some Bible verses about money that might help you change your financial life.
Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender.
This is the foundation of a lot of Christian financial literacy classes because they preach the importance of remaining debt-free. I’m of the opinion that there is a pretty clear difference between “good debt” and “bad debt”, although many people would beg to differ.
“Good debt” is debt that is leveraged to make you more money, such as a mortgage on an investment property. “Bad debt” is consumption debt; the type that is loaded up on credit cards to getting the hottest electronics and fashion. With “bad debt”, you truly are servant to the lender because you have to somehow repay your promises. With “good debt”, I think the line gets blurred. Your are a servant in the fact that you have to find tenants, but once you find tenants, they are servant to you.
1 Timothy 6:10
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.”
This is probably the most misquoted Bible verse of all time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people proudly proclaim “money is the root of all evil”. However, the Bible doesn’t say that, does it? It says that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. It isn’t the root. People can be evil for other reasons besides love of money. Yet, when people try to gain riches through illicit means, they often destroy their lives.
Having millions of dollars doesn’t mean that you love money, nor does having $20 to your name make you a saint. People with money may use it to benefit the lives of others – is that evil?
“Then he said, ‘Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”
I think this is so true – life really isn’t measured by how much you own. When you type the word “greed” into Google, you get this definition: “intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food”.
It’s important to highlight the word “selfish” in that particular definition. Wealth should be attained through service to others, not at the expense of others. If you are trying to get money at the expense of others, that is greed. Yet, I don’t think it’s inherently bad to want to own things, as long as you understand you can own them by rendering useful service to other people.
The Bible tells us that greed can never be satisfied and that greedy people will lie and steal to get what they want. They accumulate material goods under false pretenses, not by adding true value to the marketplace.
Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.
For some reason, a lot of Christian people grow up having a limiting belief that poverty is virtuous. They think that if they’re poor, they’re somehow closer to God. When I found this particular Bible verse, I was elated, because it can help shatter that particular limiting belief.
If you’re even slightly interested in accumulating wealth, you must be diligent. Drifting into laziness brings poverty. Upon doing more research, I didn’t find any Bible verses that paint a picture of poverty being virtuous, but I did find several verses that said to be generous and kind to the poor. The only verse that came close was, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God”, but when I really thought about it, aren’t we all blessed?
“Give and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full – pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
All throughout my life I’ve heard motivational quotes like “you get what you give” but it was this particular Bible verse that really made it click for me. I’m starting to understand that you can give in more ways than just financially. You can give by inspiring people, teaching others, sending positive vibes, and speaking positive things.
Jim Rohn had an excellent piece of advice in one of his many audio programs – he said that if you ever think about tipping someone two different amounts, always go with the higher one. It will put you (and the person you tipped) in a better mood all day. I’ve been putting this advice into practice in my own life and it definitely feels like I have been receiving more. For example, I left over a $10 tip on a bill that was just around $10, making my total amount $20. It’s not a crazy generous amount, but it was a high tip, percentage-wise. Later that night, I found a $20 bill on the ground. Probably just a coincidence, I know, but it makes me wonder…
“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple go on and suffer for it.”
To me, this verse is all about having an emergency fund. You must be able to “see” danger in the future and be prepared for it. If you’re “simple”, you will spend all your money and suffer for it. Make sure you are taking refuge by having at least six months of expenses socked away in a liquid account so you can easily access it.
Do you have any favorite Bible verses or personal finance advice from other religious texts? Let me know in the comments below!