29 Scriptures on Finances (from Financial Experts)

I asked some of the smartest Christian financial experts that I know two questions:

  1. What Bible verse has impacted your finances the most?
  2. And why?

I wanted to see what scriptures have had the biggest impact in their lives and give them an opportunity to share the reason as well.

My prayer is that the assembling of these 29 financial scriptures is a blessing to you!

What I noticed from the responses

So much variety

When I came up with the idea for this article, I had the mistaken assumption that there wouldn’t really be that much variety in the answers.  Even though the late Larry Burkett identified over 1,000 Bible verses about money, it seems like there are just a handful that get tossed around most churches.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out how wrong I was with the answers given.  There was almost no overlap in the answers.

God speaks differently to each of us

Just like a father speaks differently (or should) to each of his children, God does that with us. God can communicate 100 different things to 100 different people through one single verse in the Bible. I love that.

We all want to please Him

A common thread that I could sense in all the answers was a desire to please the Father. As followers of Jesus who have a passion for helping others with money, it seems we all have a desire to please God with our money and to truly be good stewards of what we have been entrusted with.

My answer (Bob Lotich)

“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest … will never cease.” Genesis 8:22

It might not come as a surprise that this verse is my answer as it is the name of this website.  For me, I’ve always been fascinated by the potential of even the smallest seed. We seem to take it for granted, but let me remind you that a Sequoia tree (the largest living thing on earth) grows to be hundreds of feet tall and starts with a tiny little seed.

And once sprouted, the amazing simplicity of soil, water, and sun causing growth for decades, centuries, or in the case of the Sequoia, millennia. Our role is merely to take small & consistent actions to nurture the seed and watch God cause the growth. 

Over my last 25+ years of serving the Lord, I have noticed that this is the way He seems to initiate change in my life.  And when I look at the financial transformation that has happened in my life, I see no better way to explain it than the principle of the seed.

Let’s see the other responses

To keep things simple all the financial experts are listed in alphabetical order. Additionally, all scriptures are NIV unless otherwise stated.

Randy Alcorn

“To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.” Deuteronomy 10:14

Scripture repeatedly emphasizes God’s ownership of everything: “To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it” (Deuteronomy 10:14). When I grasp that I’m a steward, not an owner, it totally changes my perspective.

Suddenly, I’m not asking, “How much of my money shall I, out of the goodness of my heart, give away?” Rather, I’m asking, “Since all of ‘my’ money is really yours, Lord, how do you want me to invest your money today, for others’ good and your glory?”

Peter Anderson

“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.” Philippians 4:11-13

This verse had an impact on me because it speaks to the hope and strength we find in Christ, no matter what our financial situation is. It’s so important to be content in Christ first, and realize how in some respects all other things are secondary.

When you find Godly contentment in Christ, whether you’re just starting out and have nothing, in debt or if you’re wealthy, you can have hope and strength knowing that He is in control and that he loves you, and wants the best for you. Having God’s strength on your side can give you that extra boost you need to move forward, to improve your situation, and when you’re able – to help others.

Joshua Becker

“Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.”  I Timothy 6:9

We live in a world and culture where the desire to be rich is entirely normalized. It is the desire of most people, whether inside the church or out, and rarely questioned. The assumption for most is, “Of course I would like to be rich.” But Paul gives a stern warning against the desire, arguing that those who desire riches fall into a temptation and trap that leads to ruin. A trap is subtle, unseen, and sneaks up on its prey—capturing its target before they even realize it has done so.

This verse has challenged me greatly to rethink, almost daily, the dangerous role that money plays in my life and that the desire for riches results in calamity.

Matt Bell

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. “ ‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”  Matthew 25:14-30

I’d have to pick the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30). As a new Christian in my 20s, that parable taught me the essence of biblical money management — God is the owner and creator of everything; I’m a steward or manager of what he has temporarily and generously entrusted to my care. I am to manage money according to his principles and for his purposes.

Even now, many years later, my wife and I try to keep that foundational worldview at the core of everything we do with money. It was the springboard that gave me a hunger to learn all that I could about what the Bible says about money. And that, in turn, has shaped our priorities, guiding how much we give, save, invest, and spend, motivating us to avoid debt, reminding us that this is not our home so we should hold the things of this world with open hands, reassuring us through some tough times we’ve gone through, filling us with gratitude, and so much more.

Of course, there are many, many other verses that have impacted my thinking and use of money. But I keep coming back to the Parable of the Talents as the biblical teaching that steered me down a very different path than the one I had been traveling until I became a Christian.

Chuck Bentley

“Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.”  1 Chronicles 29:11-12

“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 16:11-12

William Cowie

“If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.”  1 Corinthians 3:12-15

It showed me our salvation is a gift, but there’s more to our spiritual lives than that. We can build on Christ’s foundation with different materials. And at the end what we build will be tested. With fire. Fire does two things:

  • it consumes the things built with wood, hay, and straw
  • it purifies things built with gold and silver

Later on in the passage, Paul famously says the wisdom of the world is foolishness with God. It probably struck me harder than most because I have invested more in education (= worldly wisdom) than most. What we build spans many segments of life but, since money is what I studied and practiced, it’s the area I apply this scripture. It made me step back and question my priorities. What do I spend my money on? Did it have a hold on me or I on it? What is God’s view of money? How are my actions lining up with that?

Tom Drake

“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. ”  Proverbs 22:7

This verse sounds as current and relevant as what you’d hear nowadays from Dave Ramsey or Suze Orman. It’s a simple way to point out the situation you put yourself in when you’re burdened by debt. To be debt-free is to be free of that servitude to the credit issuer.

John from ESI Money

“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.”  Proverbs 19:17

This verse has impacted our finances in two main ways: First, it’s directed where much of our giving goes. We look for organizations that serve the poor and give to them. Second, we have seen God’s blessings on our finances as a result — He has certainly rewarded us both financially and in many other areas of life.

Finally, while this part hasn’t impacted our finances, it is mind-blowing that 1) we could ever “lend” to the Lord after all He has done for us and 2) that he would reward us for simply giving what He first gave us.

Richmond Howard

“I thank my God every time I remember you.”  Philippians 1:3

The most impactful verse for me has been Philippians 1:3, where Paul thanks the people for their partnership with him in the gospel. To me, this is the responsibility and great joy that all believers have–to partner with others so that the gospel would be sent out to the nations. This has been the biggest motivator for my wife and I to get our finances in order, to save diligently, so that we are able to give more freely. My goal at PF Geeks is to help people earn more, save more, and take control of their finances so that they can give generously to kingdom causes.

Sharita M. Humphrey

“The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it.” Proverbs 10:22

The reason Proverbs 10:22 has had such a positive impact on my life is because I’ve experienced in the past the sleepless nights worrying about my personal finances and how I would stay financially afloat. I had so much worry in my life trying to hold onto material possessions and trying to be everything to everybody. I realized that these things were only causing me ongoing stress and anxiety trying to keep up.

Losing everything I owned years ago was a blessing because I realized that God’s true blessings would not cause me so much sorrow to have. I started to do some reflecting and realized that what I thought was important really wasn’t. All the material possessions would never make me happy, because there was so much inner work that I needed to do.

I knew that I had to learn to trust God’s words, that I had to become a better steward of my money and to learn that I can’t take care of everyone. I have now completely changed the trajectory of my life and my financial future. There’s true wealth and peace when you surrender your life to God. I’m now living a life that I never could have imagined. It’s all because I decided to seek God first, to live on less and to spend with purpose.

Mary Hunt

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

It was the turning point moment in my life—the day divided it into before and after. I’d spent every day of the first 12 years of our marriage running up horrible debt—the toxic unsecured kind. On that hot September day, I came to the end of myself. There was no more credit, both my husband and I were unemployed. No savings, no unemployment benefits, no hope. For the first time ever, I realized the problem was me, not my poor childhood, not that my husband didn’t earn enough, not that I didn’t get an inheritance or any other thing.

Up until that day, even though I’d grown up in a pastor’s family and acquired a headful of biblical knowledge, I didn’t really believe that God knew about my needs or cared about my wants. And I’d done a pretty lousy job of filling in for his lack of interest in those part of my life. Pathetic? Yes. But absolutely true.

As I lay on the floor completely shattered—broken, all washed up—I poured out my heart to God. How can you forgive me? How can I go on? Bible verses I’d memorized as a kid washed over me with amazing clarity; verses on forgiveness and God’s strength in my weakness; His sufficient grace. And the one that wrapped itself around me and made me understand that God does care is:

Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

I hung onto that verse, and the others too, for dear life—and I have to this day. Here’s what I have learned about Psalms 37:4. It’s an “if then” proposition: IF I delight myself in the Lord, THEN he will give me the desires of my heart. Yes! It’s true … I can vouch for that.

For nearly 28 years now, I’ve been learning how to delight myself in the Lord. And you know what? He has given me the desires of my heart—and the more I delight myself in him, the more my desires change! What I desired on that turning point day is nothing close to what my desires are now.

I know now and have proven with certainty that God knows about my needs—and has kept his promise to supply them, over and over and over again! But more than that, he cares about the desires of my heart. And I know he delights in giving them to me, his child, as well.

Scott Maderer

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Matthew 6:21

Because all too often I was putting my treasures into the things of the world and thus my focus and attention were there. It led to a constant feeling of discontent and frustration. Never being satisfied with anything I did. Instead I realized that I needed to put my treasures (and this was way more than just monetary ones) into things of God. That my focus was on making myself look better rather than finding ways to glorify God through my choices and actions. And as long as that was the focus I would never have success.

As I really took that verse to heart it led to me being driven by contentment. Both content with all I have been blessed with by God…and driven to share and grow my gifts and blessings SO that God’s glory could be reflected through my choices and actions. The focus was different and everything changed for me both financially and emotionally.

Tai and Tallatt McNeeley

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. ”  Romans 13:8

This verse encouraged us greatly on our journey to debt freedom. For a while, we were comfortable with having no debt with the exception of our mortgage because we allowed the cultural norm of having a 30-year mortgage become our standard. However this verse encouraged us to let no debt remain outstanding, and no debt means NO debt.

Therefore we made it our business to not just stay consumer debt free but to pay off our mortgage and be 100% debt free. With this scripture as our motivation, we indeed paid off our home. In total, we successfully paid off $330,000 in just 5 years on one income and we give God all the glory for it.

Bill Miller

“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.”  Romans 8:14

The verse that has most challenged me is the one that says the sons of God are being Spirit led (Romans 8:14). Once we come to know Christ, we have a choice to make and we have to make it over and over again, daily, sometimes hourly: will I be Spirit-led or flesh-led as I go through life dealing with God’s provision? Will I even be patient enough to consult with Him before I step out in my own strength to respond to some financial challenge of the moment?

My financial problems have always come from flesh-led strategies I got myself into. Likewise, over the years we’ve spoken to tens of thousands of Christian clients with financial problems and ALL of them were also experiencing flesh-led problems. If you think about it, our finances are really important to us, and if we’re not careful we will give them more importance than we do to the things of God. We will grow discontent easily when our expectations aren’t satisfied. We will covet in others what we think we ought to have or trust in our money instead of God.

Steve Moore

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

To be honest, I’m not sure what motivated me to memorize this 44 years ago. I was a new Christian trying to find God’s will for my life and make the transition from professional musician into broadcasting. How hard could that be? It turned out to be very hard and unlikely to be sure, but God specializes in unlikely and surprising things. I knew nothing about broadcasting. I had no education or background in it…just an interest. And it would be twelve years before I met Larry Burkett and learned that the Bible had quite a bit to say about managing money, staying out of debt, living a balanced lifestyle, and…acquiring “things”.

Larry Burkett was a tremendous employer, friend, and teacher. Being around a man with this kind of faith, who lived what he taught to the very end, was inspiring and humbling. He exemplified the command of Matthew 6:33. He always “sought first the Kingdom” and as God added “things” to his life, he did his best (not perfectly) to serve God and treat others “as more important than himself.” But his goal was always obedience and service…never the pursuit of “the things” themselves. Obviously, there are lots of things that we need to make it through life, such as a home, a job, food…but God has already promised to provide those things because they are “needs.” Often it’s the “wants” that get too much of our time, attention, worry, and focus. But too much attention to the wrong things can lead to misplaced priorities, debt, and missing God’s best. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God means knowing Him and His will for your life. It means understanding (as best we can) the purity, compassion, and grace of God, which leads to others seeing Him in our lives. And when we do that, all the things we really need will come along in the process.

Dan Murphy

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 2:3-5

I chose this because, in my relationship with Christ, He has taught me to be a humble servant. When you’re managing peoples life savings and their future prosperity, I think humbleness is key. That is why my business is structured the way it is. I donate 20% of my revenue, I charge clients less than many advisors and I provide advice that is as open & transparent as possible.

Robert Netzly

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. ”  1Corinthians 10:31

The burning passion and purpose of the Christian life is the glory of God, and nowhere is this truer than when it comes to money and investing. We glorify God when we invest His money in companies that are aligned with His values and operate as businesses of blessing toward their customers, communities, workforce and the world. We dishonor God when we invest His money in companies that violate His values and do harm with their products, services and business practices. This verse reminds us to carefully and joyfully consider how we can bring honor and glory to the name of Jesus in everything we do, including how we invest.

Crystal Paine

“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.”  Malachi 3:10

“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.”  Luke 6:38

From the time we were first married and barely making it, we have committed to tithe 10% of our income. Even when we didn’t feel like we had that 10% to tithe, we committed to give it in faith. And I am here to tell you that we have always had a roof over our head and food on the table. In fact, many times, we saw God stretch the 90% left far beyond what even made sense on paper!

As our income has increased, our heart is to be conduits and to live our lives with open hands. It feels like the more that we give, the more God opens up opportunities for us to give. And there is so much joy and fulfillment that comes from living your life with your arms outstretched!

Mark Parrett

“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 16:10-12

According to this, God gave you resources to invest because you need to prove out some mettle with something as eternally vapid as money in order to be shown trustworthy with… I dunno… MEN’S SOULS (aka true riches). If this is the case, then money is put into our charge in order to be deployed for the advancing of the Kingdom. The idea that we could please the Father by kicking back a few bucks His way is offensive, at best.

Now how does this impact spending and giving? It adds virtually infinite freedom and accountability to our money. Whereas the owner gives out of his pile and uses the remainder for whatever he wants, with no accountability to anyone but himself, the steward is a manager for the King’s assets. So the fact that you saw it as the best use for 10% of these assets to go into the giving bucket has zero implications for what you think the best use of the next 50% of these assets should be. You’ll be held accountable for all of it – because you don’t own any of it. It could all go into the giving bucket. Or not.

Jay Peroni

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”  James 1:5

For me, James 1:5 has had the biggest impact on my financial life. As a Christ follower, wisdom from the heavens is far more important than anything man could ever come up with. In times of trial and difficulties, I seek wisdom from Him just like James did. No financial strategy or solution can trump what God and His word can reveal.

Our Christian walk is about a relationship with Jesus, about putting a deeper trust in God as we face many trials, especially those that are financially related. When I don’t have the answers, I cry out for His wisdom. My trust is in Him and He always provides the answer when I seek Him out. This for me has been the foundation of my finances and business life.

Joe Plemon

“Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.”  Proverbs 30:7-9

Because the writer knows his own weaknesses and recognizes that either too much money or too little money can cause him to dishonor God. I love the humility and the fact that the focus is not on riches, but living to please God. I hope I can do that.

Art Rainer

“Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”  Luke 21:3-4

This verse demonstrates how, in God’s economy, the amount sacrificed always supersedes the amount given. It is all about the heart.

Jerry Robinson

“All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”  Proverbs 14:23

One day while reading through the book of Proverbs, this scripture lept out at me. When you consider what “profit” from labor really is, it is quite profound. An individual’s “profit” from his labor or work is equal to the amount of money saved. A paycheck is not profit. Profit is instead the difference between the amount earned from one’s labor and the amount spent on daily necessities. In other words, our “profit” is not what we earn, but what we save from our earnings.

It is sad when you consider that so many people today labour without profit because they choose to spend every dime they earn. Just as no business owner would operate without earning a profit from his labor, no employee should agree to labor without a profit.

Guy Smith

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”  2 Corinthians 9:6-15

I have a tendency to be tight-fisted when it comes to spending money. I’d rather save almost every penny. Giving, on the other hand, is set apart and is so much fun. Thanks to passages like this one God has released me from hoarding and now I honestly can’t wait to give to my church and other ministries.

Jen Smith

“It is for freedom that Christ as set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”  Galatians 5:1

Why it had the impact: Christ has created us for freedom beyond our comprehension. But it’s so much easier to choose slavery to money, things, our jobs, or whatever the world says to. Whenever I think about why I’m online and recording podcasts I remember that there’s a freedom available to everyone and maybe if they just knew another way to do things, they’ll get a little closer to a glimpse of what Christ has set us free for.

Cameron Taylor

“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  John 15:4-5

Shortly after getting married, my first business failed, leaving us with thousands of dollars of business debt. I began searching for a job. I was unemployed for six months as I searched for work. I applied for dozens and dozens of jobs and was rejected by each one. I had graduated with honors from business school, but I couldn’t find a job. I got to the point that I was willing to work anywhere. I applied at a Sears customer service call center that paid $6.50 per hour. Sears seemed to hire everyone so I was hopeful I would at least have a job with some income while I continued searching for a better job. I did the Sears typing test and mock phone calls, but I didn’t make the cut. I was devastated and frustrated. I had prayed for six months for the Lord to help me find a job with no success. In desperation, I knelt and prayed, “Lord, why can’t I find a job?”

During my Bible study, I read the parable of the vine in John 15. I realized I was asking the wrong question. My question was, “Why can’t I find a job?” I was putting my faith and trust in myself. I was trying to be the vine. I realized I needed to put my faith and trust in the Lord, and I began asking, “Lord, what would you have me do?” I was no longer trying to be the vine, but striving to be one of His branches. I recognized that without Christ I could do nothing.

As an instrument in the hands of the Lord, I was able to build several businesses that produced much fruit blessing the lives of many people. After the success of the businesses, I received recognition and awards, but I was quick to give all honor and glory to God for I knew the source of the fruit. It was not me. I was still the man who couldn’t get a job at the Sears call center but once I abided in Christ and was an instrument in His hands, I was able to bring forth much fruit.

Dave @ Rich Fool

“But God said to him ‘You fool!  This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”  Luke 12:20-21

There are plenty of Bible verses on money, but the parable of the rich fool jumps out because of its relevance to how we structure our personal finances in 21st Century America. The parallel of the rich landowner in Luke 12 to our modern philosophy of wealth accumulation serves as a stern warning about the dangers of excess.

The rich fool parable gave me a gut check when I was starting to seriously pursue financial independence and early retirement. I see myself so clearly in the story that I took on the identity of The Rich Fool and started a personal finance blog. It continues to guide me as I strive for a life defined by radical generosity instead of comfort and security.

Most of all, the rich fool illustrates the dangers of saving with no ceiling for a future that isn’t guaranteed. Unfortunately, that’s exactly how most people approach their finances today. Instead of giving generously out of a historically unprecedented abundance, we hoard our wealth. We operate with a scarcity mindset, planning for the “what ifs” and worst-case scenarios. Like rich fools, we build bigger barns.

Of course, our barns look much different. Instead of stockpiling grain, we build bigger retirement accounts, college funds, and stock portfolios. The investment vehicles change, but the result is the same. We lay up treasure for ourselves without asking whether there’s a higher calling for our possessions.

Debbie Todd

“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.”  Proverbs 22:7

This verse squarely addresses two key components of personal financial health; Savings and Debt. Today, roughly 180 million citizens in our country are at or near financial calamity. 57% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings, with 39% of those families having under $400. We want more and better and we want it now. Debt is such a sneaky and insidious trap…in our country, people are lured by the “easy monthly payments” every single day. As a licensed CPA for nearly 2 decades, I have seen first-hand the devastation that poor money decisions can have on virtually all areas of a person’s life. Mounting debt and decreased financial cushion are both cited as key contributors to divorce, family strife, stress, increased crime, addictions, and even death. Not only does debt shackle us financially, but it stops us from living in freedom to live out the purpose that He desires in our lives.

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”  1 Corinthians 15:58

The second verse actually is more my life verse…but relates just as well to stewardship as to any other area of our Christian walk. As the eldest child of a military family, we grew up living on very little money – right through high school. It was hard. Not wearing the cool new clothes, having the latest toys, or being brought to school in a shiny new car…BUT we learned to be patient, work hard and save for what we wanted. We learned to stand firm. We also learned that if we REALLY wanted something bad enough, we’d prioritize and make decisions that allowed us to realize our goals. These truths have held strong in my adult life for the last 35+ years. He also will bring support and help when you need it most. The Lord has amazing plans for each and every one of us…plans to prosper us and not harm us…but we have to do our part by pausing, praying and not derailing ourselves physically and financially.

Quick Caveat:

One of my goals with this website is to help Christians (of all denominations) better understand some of the Biblical wisdom that is available to us to help us do “this money thing” right. My goal from this list is not to pick only experts who I 100% agree with their Biblical interpretation on with every scripture, but to represent all “flavors” of Jesus followers.

When I read 1 Corinthians 13 I am reminded that none of us has all the answers and that we all are limited in our understanding.  As believers, I think we would do ourselves good to look for our common ground with our brothers and sisters in Christ, rather than focusing on the differences. That doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be room for discussion, but it should be done in love and a willingness to admit that we don’t know everything.  And who knows, maybe we could even learn something from each other?

Your turn

What Bible verses would you add to this list?  Share yours in the comments below…

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