Here are some helpful biblical financial principles that we all need to be reminded of from time to time:
• Trust in God and in God alone for your future needs. “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God” (Psa. 20:7). “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life” (I Tim. 6:17-19). Trust the Provider, not the provision. If our trust is in the provision, we will never have enough to feel secure. If our trust is in the Provider, we will never not have enough to feel secure.
• Recognize that everything belongs to God, and He can do with it what He wishes. “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it” (Psa. 24:1). Some mistakenly think that only 10% of their increase belongs to God when, in fact, the other 90% is His, too. Since God owns it all, we cannot outgive Him; His shovel is bigger than ours.
• Diversify your investments. “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, or even to eight, for you know not what disaster may happen on earth” (Eccl. 11:1-2). Invest in various resources — real estate, stock market, minerals, etc.
• Be disciplined to save little by little over a period of time. “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it” (Prov. 13:11). Discipline plus diversity plus time equals a good return.
• Avoid or minimize the use of debt. “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law” (Rom. 13:8). While this verse is not exclusive to debt or finances, it is not a bad rule of thumb. “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender” (Prov. 22:7).
• Learn to save a portion of your income. A fool spends everything he makes, but a wise man puts money back for future needs. “Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it” (Prov. 21:20). “Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man” (Prov. 6:6-11).
• Manage resources to pass along as an inheritance. “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous” (Prov. 13:22). Consider setting up a savings account for your grandchildren to help them get started. (firstname.lastname@example.org)