It is common to ask, “Does God want me to be rich?” or “What does the Bible say about money?”
I have had to wrestle with that and work through it for my own spiritual practice. Many remember the verse, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” There is a common misconception that money is a bad thing and that the Bible is against wealth. There is also a misconception that God promised to bless us with money when we do or believe certain things. Let’s break through this thinking so you can learn about the true energy of money.
The Bible promises great riches of peace, joy, and love—not wealth, to the followers of God.
“Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all.” – Proverbs 22:2 (NIV)
The presence or absence of money is not an indicator of God’s blessing. Your happiness or value shouldn’t depend on money either. Wealth is frowned upon for a Christian when Bible verses are taken out of context. The Bible refers to money as something owed to workers and a tool that can be used for good deeds.
Money is neutral. Over and over, I have seen money amplify the best or worst that is already in a person.
What Did Jesus Christ Say About Money and Wealth?
Jesus told parables of workers earning a wage in the field all day and used money to illustrate parables about treasure (often alluding to treasure in heaven). When he sent out seventy-two appointed ones into surrounding towns, he told them, “Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages.” (Luke 10:7) Did you catch that? The worker deserves his wages!
Jesus also warned his followers (Luke 6:24-26) and told them not to try to serve two masters because no one could serve both God and money faithfully (Matthew 6:24 and Luke 12:34). The focus has to be on the Heavenly Purpose and not on money itself.
He is commonly quoted saying of the rich man: “Again I tell you, it is easier for the camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God,” but continued on “with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” The idea that rich people cannot be spiritual is not a Biblical concept!
Our Lord Jesus used money to pay taxes and did not ignore the systems of exchange that were part of the current culture.
A Balanced View of Money Through Bible Verses
Money is something we use to show value in our present world. In older times, an exchange of goods and services (barter) was done much more frequently. But, people soon found out this could create an unbalanced society. Money allows for continual exchange.
Without money, people don’t know how to juggle multiple needs from multiple sources that don’t align evenly. It might seem like a world without money would be simpler, but we would fall into war and panic within a month.
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But money has limitations. Norwegian poet Arne Garborg writes:
“You can buy food, but not appetite; medicine, but not health; soft beds, but not sleep; knowledge, but not wisdom; glitter, but not beauty; splendor, but not warmth; fun, but not joy; acquaintances, but not friends; servants, but not faithfulness.”
Money is a means to an end. It is how we live, give, and explore our world, but money itself shouldn’t be seen as the end goal. The Bible warns us in 1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” It is the love and pursuit of money over all that becomes a root of all evil.
As I have said before: Don’t give money the power to make you happy!
You can be happy without a lot of money. You can be stressed and unhappy with a lot of money(Ecclesiastes 5:10-12). And, you will be stressed and unhappy if you don’t learn how to properly handle your money. I want to teach you how to create happiness outside of money, so you don’t have to learn that skill later when your money abounds.
God Wants Us to be Good Stewards
The Bible offers financial wisdom. There are 113 verses in the Bible that mention money, and 16 of 38 parables in the New Testament recorded from Jesus discuss money. When you combine the verses giving instruction on money, it is clear the concern is a heart issue of harmful desires and not hatred for money itself. In fact, those with storehouses planning ahead are usually depicted as wise (Proverbs 21:20), but the rich fool focused on storing his excess for himself (Luke 12:13-21).
The Bible says the left hand should not know what the right hand is doing when selfless acts are done (Matthew 6:3) because then the focus becomes about an appearance and not spiritual growth.
Ananias and Sapphira said they gave all they had to look good to the rest of their church, while secretly holding money back. Peter rebuked them: “Didn’t [the land] belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal?” (Acts 5:4) They had every right to decide what to do with their money, but they lied to appear more selfless than they were.
The Bible talks about money a lot because it is one of the biggest stressors in our lives. I see people get overly focused on money or other good things (like relationships or parenting) in a way that makes them miss the treasures of God.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5
God wants us to be good stewards with our money.
- God is the Owner of all things (Psalm 24:1)
- We are His stewards (Matthew 25:14-30)
- We are called to be faithful – regardless if we have a lot or a little (1 Corinthians 4:2)
- As stewards of God’s money, we are called to work hard and manage well (Luke 16:10-12)
- We should be cheerful givers (2 Corinthians 9:7)
- We should ask God for what we need (Philippians 4:6-7)
9 Christian Principles We Learn About Money from the Bible
There are over 2000 verses that deal with the idea of possessions and wealth. I want to point out nine principles from the Bible that show the spiritual truths of money:
1. God Owns Everything
All money we earn actually belongs to God. This is a perspective we should keep in mind at all times. We are merely stewards of what he gives us.
2. Money is About Discipleship
Money is a tool God can use for good works as we love like His son Jesus. We should be content whether we don’t have a lot or have an abundance.
3. Money can be a Form of Worship
You can place your hope in money or focus too much on getting money, but it isn’t money itself that is unspiritual. Money can also be used to show worship to God.
4. Work Honestly for Your Money
The Bible speaks about the value of working hard and the evils of being lazy or idle. When someone can’t provide for themselves, there are safety nets in the church, family, and the state–but that isn’t considered ideal. All money should be earned by providing value and not stolen or swindled from others.
5. Pursue Contentment
Discontentment breeds unnecessary debt, cheating, stealing, unfaithfulness in marriage, selfish actions to get ahead, and stinginess with funds. I want you to find contentment rooted in God’s Love and Christ over all. While you may have goals for your career or savings, contentment should exist regardless of how much money you have.
6. Rid Yourself of Greed
Most people don’t think they have a greed problem, but your satisfaction and contentment will tell you the truth. Are you satisfied with what you have, or do you want to purchase more? Does your desire for possessions or money choke out your focus on God? Do you give willingly to others, or do you cling to what you have? Greed can be killed with the antidote of contentment.
7. Be Mindful of Debt
God does not forbid debt, but he does caution against it. I know from personal experience that debt can be a really bad and stressful thing that can consume you. There may be times for taking on “good” debt (student loans, home mortgage, business loans, etc.). Still, debt should only be entered into prayerfully and not because of impulse purchasing or overspending (common with credit card debt).
8. Plan and Manage Finances
I want you to examine your income and your spending (including debt repayments) should be well within that amount (Luke 14:28-30). How much are you giving back to God through the church, organizations, or your community? Are you saving and investing money? Your finances should be planned carefully, like wise stewards mentioned in the Bible.
9. Pursue God Over Money
Your problem isn’t going to be on how good you’ve planned your career and finances—it will always end up wherever your heart is. Are you worshipping money or worshipping with money? God should be your first love, and your pursuit should be in Him.
Believe What the Bible Says About Money and Watch Your Bank Account Change
God knows your heart. Money is a neutral energy you can program to play a role in your larger vision. I want to help you focus on being someone who cares for others with an abundance of resources, not on being someone who has money.
God will even prevent people from gaining wealth if he knows it will harm them. I have seen first hand that when you are feeling poor, you are more likely to call upon God instead of yourself. These lessons can be a launchpad to help you steward money in the right way when it does come to you.
You can rest assured in the truth that God loves you as your Heavenly Father and wants what is best for you, like any good father would for his children. Focus on using money to advance the Kingdom of God and help those around you.
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