If so, you’re in the right place because we’ll be talking about what the Bible says about budgeting, money management, and debt. I’ll be answering common questions about the Bible and money management, and giving you scriptures to look over to shape your own opinions about this.
For the longest time, it seemed that the Bible was a guidebook for character and money was a “secular” topic. I don’t know why.
I was raised in a church, but money wasn’t a topic we spoke about aside from offerings and tithes. We didn’t talk about acquiring wealth, investing, or what our income and expense goals should look like.
Outside of my church, I saw Christian people with drastically varying opinions. Some people believe that it’s God’s will for them to live in poverty, and they even go on missionary trips without a means to support themselves.
Other people believe God wants them to be wealthy. They say that since the Kingdom of God is where all abundance comes from, then riches are their inheritance.
It can be quite confusing which position is a biblical worldview without seeking the Bible for yourself.
Is Budgeting a Religious Practice?
While “budgeting” isn’t a word you’ll find in an English Bible translation, the concept of stewardship is something the Bible talks about frequently. We can see the people (like Moses, Joseph, or Solomon) who demonstrated great care in how they managed the resources God had entrusted them with.
Their management of resources required counting, setting limits, and careful portioning to ensure that all the needs of the people who followed them were met.
The management of resources was specifically profound in the event of Joseph where there was a significant length of famine. His tact in how he preserved the harvest, portioned amounts to sustain his people, and even lended to neighboring countries cause Israel to go from being practically slaves into having their masters indebted to them!
There was no food, however, in the whole region because the famine was severe; both Egypt and Canaan wasted away because of the famine. Joseph collected all the money that was to be found in Egypt and Canaan in payment for the grain they were buying, and he brought it to Pharaoh’s palace. When the money of the people of Egypt and Canaan was gone, all Egypt came to Joseph and said, “Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes? Our money is all gone.”
“Then bring your livestock,” said Joseph. “I will sell you food in exchange for your livestock, since your money is gone.”So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and he gave them food in exchange for their horses, their sheep and goats, their cattle and donkeys. And he brought them through that year with food in exchange for all their livestock.
When that year was over, they came to him the following year and said, “We cannot hide from our lord the fact that since our money is gone and our livestock belongs to you, there is nothing left for our lord except our bodies and our land. Why should we perish before your eyes—we and our land as well? Buy us and our land in exchange for food, and we with our land will be in bondage to Pharaoh. Give us seed so that we may live and not die, and that the land may not become desolate.”
So Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh. The Egyptians, one and all, sold their fields, because the famine was too severe for them. The land became Pharaoh’s, and Joseph reduced the people to servitude, from one end of Egypt to the other.
Is Budgeting a Habit Christians Should Have?
Stewardship is a habit Christians should have. The Bible talks about how all resources that we come in contact with can be given and taken away in an instant by God. We shouldn’t boast, become proud, or abstain from generosity.
It also says we should make sure we’re bearing fruit that’s pleasing, and money is a resource we can use to bear fruit.
Does the Bible say we Shouldn’t Have Money?
People in the Bible demonstrated various economic classes. Some were poor and some were rich. The Bible doesn’t denounce economic class. Instead, it talks about the heart behind money that can become a problem.
For some people with or without money, they can become lazy, envious, jealous, greedy, lustful, or posses other negative characteristics. Interestingly, the bad characteristics don’t belong to one economic class.
Some people who have very little money hoard what they have and envy people who have more; while some people with lots of money are very generous and don’t envy. Regardless of rich or poor, the most important thing is to maintain an upright condition of the heart that’s pleasing to God.
Is Poverty a Good Thing in the Bible?
The Bible demonstrates how God used wealth as a blessing and poverty as a curse. It also demonstrates how He used poverty as a way to demonstrate strong character despite tribulation, or bad character thru wealth.
No, the Bible doesn’t say poverty is a good thing. It says the love of money or greed associated with money is bad.
Does the Bible Teach us how to Avoid Being Broke?
The Bible demonstrates things such as management, stewardship, mentorship, investing, learning and skill development, and building a solid reputation–these things can be combined to overcome poverty. But, we also learn about principles like spiritual warfare, complacency, consequences to our decisions, and bad association that can be difficult to avoid. It’s my belief that if the Bible is internalized that you can use the principles to overcome being broke.
Why “Live within our Means” when God can Raise the Means?
For some people, they believe that if the Bible says to “ask and recieve” and since God is the creator of all, then why should we have to live within our means?
That’s a good question.
It seems like an oxymoron for people who believe they have access to an all-powerful God to believe in limits, but we can see accounts where even the most powerful beings from the Bible experienced limits.
The reason is because God doesn’t promise that all eternal inheritance will be given during our lifetime on the Earth. Since He’s “preparing a place” for us, we have to keep the faith and believe that when He returns is when we can “raise the means” and have less regard for limits.
Does the Bible say Wealth or Poverty is Better?
Since the Bible illustrates wealth as a blessing from God and poverty as a tool He can use for good, I believe both can work for good. It’s my opinion that poverty makes it much harder to effectively reach people as the Ambassadors Christ calls us to be.
“A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” – Proverbs 10:4 (ESV)
Does the Bible Say Debt is Good or Bad?
The Bible tells us to avoid debt and to get out of it as fast as you can. It describes debt as a form of slavery.
“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” – Proverbs 22:7 (ESV)
Bible Scriptures About Budgeting and Money Management
I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?
– Luke 16:9-12
“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
“The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
“But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.
Luke 16: 19-25
Overall, the Bible is clear that having money is a good thing, and having the ability to preserve the resources you have is commendable. In fact, there are several demonstrations of how good money management caused transfers of wealth, and led poor people to become rich. Hopefully, this article answered your question, “What does the Bible Say About Budgeting your Money?” and gave you more to think about.
I hope you begin to think about ways you can be a better steward of your resources. If you’d like to learn more about living life by God’s design, get started with theBy God’s Design Manifesto here.