Wealth in the Bible

Using God's Blessings to Bless Others…

Category: Proverbs (Page 2 of 7)

Wisdom, Discipline and Understanding

Proverbs 23:23 – ‘Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.’

There are many things in life that we buy to later give away, sell again or forget about. Not all that we spend money on do we benefit from. God’s word indicates that truth is something we should invest in. We should purchase it and not sell it! We are advised to get wisdom, discipline and understanding.

God's Word says to get Wisdom, Discipline and Understanding

God’s Word says to get Wisdom, Discipline and Understanding

Wisdom, Discipline and Understanding

I feel that these words – these values – are important for the wealthy Christian. It is through acting wise that we are able to acquire wealth. I believe we are wise when we are able to earn money and live on less than we earn, saving some periodically.

It is a wealthy person who is able to be disciplined. They are disciplined in being a good worker – going to work and earning a wage. Wealthy people are disciplined in how they spend – and save – their money. They are also wise and disciplined in how they educate themselves on investing and act on this.

It is a wealthy Christian who strives for understanding. They long to know how to invest their finances wisely. They also long to understand how to share their finances wisely. Wealthy Christians long to understand God’s desire for what they should do with their finances.

If as a wealthy Christian you seek God’s truth and alongside it the values of wisdom, discipline and understanding, your finances will go far! God will help you to earn, invest and use your finances to help those in need.

Financial tip – setting up an offset account for your mortgage means that any money you have left over for the week or that is put aside to pay upcoming bills can be sitting against your mortgage debt and keeping your interest down. It’ll save you thousands in the long run.

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Show Restraint

Proverbs 23:4 – ‘Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.’

It is a wise person who is able to show restraint. Likewise, it can be a wealthy person who shows restraint. Wealth can be acquired in time, slowly, steadily. It doesn’t need to be rushed or somewhere you invest all your energies. In fact, it shouldn’t be!

Be Sure to Practice Wisdom and Show Restraint with Your Finances

Be Sure to Practice Wisdom and Show Restraint with Your Finances

God should always come first. And if we desire to be wealthy Christians, we should question the motive behind this. If it is to give to those in need, to share God’s love, then God will provide these opportunities.

We should never feel that we need to wear ourselves out trying to acquire wealth! If we are to be wealthy, then we should trust God to provide opportunities. He can help us to earn, to save and to invest wisely. In these areas, we need to show restraint and wait on His provision and guidance.

This does not mean that we sit back and wait for the money to turn up and magically multiply. It means that we stay in communion with God – through prayer and His word. By doing this, we will have our eyes opened to opportunities – perhaps a new job or a business idea.

Then we can act as God guides us and know that when we put in the work that He’s provided, a blessing will come in the form of finances, the ability to save and then earn interest. Show restraint – wait on God’s timing, but when He says go, act!

Financial tip – consider if a loan is necessary to make purchases; other than a mortgage, in a short time frame it should be possible to save regular amounts and purchase items outright. A $10,000 car could end up costing you 12,000 over a 5 year period and will devalue by half in the first 12 months. Buying a similar vehicle that is 12 months old with cash may be a much smarter move financially.

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Shares his Food

Proverbs 22:9 – ‘A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.’

This is such a simple verse! It says that if we share with those who are lacking, then we will be blessed. Note that it doesn’t say – if you have more than enough, share with the poor.

A Generous Man Shares his Food with the Poor

A Generous Man Shares his Food with the Poor

Far from it! It just indicates that the person who shares their food with someone in need is generous. And how much more generous is it, if you are sharing when you have just enough for yourself? Do you the remember widow who gave all that she had rather than a little from her abundance? Jesus said she was the most generous giver of all. We should challenge ourselves to be like this – even as wealthy Christians.

Don’t give out of your abundance but rather, challenge yourself to give until it costs you. Remember David’s example of buying property that was offered to him for free. He refused to offer something to the Lord that hadn’t cost him.

Shares his Food

Consider how you can share. The person who always seems to have a negative thing to say to you? Shower them with encouragement and smiles. The picky eater who struggles to say the right thing in public? Invite them over for a meal you know they’ll love. Be the person who shares his food with the poor. Look for ways to be generous – even if they are going to cost you your time, finances or pride. Embrace opportunities to share with others. You will be blessed because of it.

Financial tip – establish the difference between needs and wants. Do you need your next purchase? Can the money be better invested elsewhere?

Servant to the Lender

Proverbs 22:7 – ‘The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.’

Surely it is a wonderful position to be in where you can lend to others. It means you have more than enough. However, being in a position where you need to borrow can work the other way. In fact God’s word says that the borrower is servant to the lender.

The Borrower is Servant to the Lender

The Borrower is Servant to the Lender

Consider a home or car loan as an example. You are provided with funds that you need to purchase something you wouldn’t otherwise be able to buy. Wonderful!  You get your brand new car or house to live in, but you have repayments that you must make on a regular basis. You are suddenly tied in to the person who loaned you money. This relationship can last as long as thirty years! And you’re subject to changes in interest rates as the economy changes around you. You are a servant to the lender, even if they didn’t mean for that to occur.

More so, the lender is earning interest on what you borrowed in the first place. So they are making a profit from having loaned to you. I remember first doing sums back in 2009 when I bought my first house. I was buying a 3 bedroom home on a reasonable sized block. It was an old commission home in a less desirable part of town – this made it affordable to me. This was never my dream home purchase, it was a stepping stone – getting into real estate so that I could in time purchase land for my dream home.

The figures I put into the calculator showed me that the amount I had borrowed to purchase the home would be paid back 3 times over by the time the mortgage was paid off in full after a thirty year term. This meant that the banks made 200% on what they loaned to me. 200%! Wow.

Servant to the Lender

Those who have money to give are often in a position to earn more. Those who need to borrow find themselves consistently owing and maybe even struggling to get ahead. As a wealthy Christian, when you invest, do so wisely. Don’t borrow for things you can save up and buy outright! Don’t borrow money for items that will decrease in value! And if you’re blessed to be in a position to loan to others in need, don’t do it at a profit to yourself. Give without expecting a return. Don’t be the lender that someone is servant to.

Wealth tip – unsure where your money goes? Make a money diary for a month or two listing every cent spent. Cut out unnecessary spending!

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Rich and Poor

Proverbs 22: 2 – 4 – ‘Rich and poor have this in common: the Lord is the maker of them all. A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge but the simple keep going and suffer for it. Humility and fear of the Lord bring wealth and honour and life.’

God has made all of us and loves us all equally. Perhaps when you read this verse you are disheartened. You think, ‘but God made me poor and chose to make my neighbour rich!’ God doesn’t play favourites and you may find that same neighbour is wanting less financial responsibility than what comes with their wealth!

We never know someone else’s situation fully and how they came to be rich or poor. The good news is that God made us all and He can help all of us to change our financial situation. In fact, it says in the above verses that if we are humble and fear the Lord, then wealth, honour and life will be brought to us! Wonderful!

Rich and Poor; God Loves us all Equally

Rich and Poor; God Loves us all Equally

The verse in between I don’t believe is there by chance. It’s very easy to have two wealthy people who seem to have an obscene amount of wealth. Consider one who lives frivolously, knowing the finances couldn’t all be spent in their lifetime. The other lives prudently, investing and seeking God’s guidance on how to spend.

A financial crisis hits the world and of these two, the frivolous spender suffers because they just kept going as they always do. The prudent man praises God for watching over him and keeping his finances so that he has enough to feed his family in this hard time. What’s more, he is able to use the money he has to immediately start building up his wealth again.

Rich and Poor, God Loves us all

God made all of us equal in His eyes. Likewise, He can help all of us to generate great wealth. See these verses as a comfort to know that your Maker – the Maker of heaven and earth – can help you in every possible way you can imagine – and then some! Rich and poor, God loves us all and He can help us to improve our financial situation.

Wealth tip – consider splitting your budget into the areas of tithes/offerings, living expenses and saving.

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Save

Save

Save

The Sluggard’s Craving

Proverbs 21: 25 – 26 – ‘The sluggard’s craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work. All day long he craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing.’

Have you ever been in a position where you’ve wanted something? It’s consumed your thoughts. How lovely it would be to have… (fill in the blank)! The daydream turns into a desperate want, an obsession. And what do you do about gaining this desire? You dream some more! This will get you nowhere. God’s word describes this as the sluggard’s craving.

The Sluggard’s Craving is of no Benefit to Anyone

The Sluggard’s Craving is of no Benefit to Anyone

It’s a desire we have but refuse to work toward getting! Put simply like this, it seems ridiculous. There is no point in desiring things we refuse to work for. Now it’s different if we have an incredible goal that we know will only come to pass with God’s intercession. I have one of these goals. However, that doesn’t stop me from doing all that I can within my power to get closer to achieving the goal. This includes educating myself, saving money and of course praying, communicating with God. It’s only in His perfect timing that dreams come to fruition. That doesn’t mean we can’t spend the in between time getting ready!

In fact, if we do nothing, I believe that can delay our dream coming to fruition, even though God really wants to give it to us! Whatever your desire, work towards it with all your heart, being sure to include God in the picture.

The Sluggard’s Craving

Whilst doing this, don’t forget to give as much of yourself as you can to those in need around you.  It’s what God desires of you. It’s making an impact for His kingdom. Plus, who knows what relationships are getting established in this time that may help your dream to come to fruition in the future? Don’t give in to the sluggards craving. Pray. Be productive and give without sparing.

Wealth tip – budget your money and follow this.

Save

Save

Life, Prosperity and Honour

Proverbs 21:21 – ‘He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honour.’

The idea of finding life, prosperity and honour appeal to me, I don’t know about you! It says in the bible that the person who pursues righteousness and love finds these exact things. Now the word pursue can mean to chase or to follow, but it can also mean to practice, to engage in and to work at. Pursuing righteousness and love is something you have to actively do, I believe.

God's Word Promises Life, Prosperity and Honour to those who Live a Life of Righteousness and Love

God’s Word Promises Life, Prosperity and Honour to those who Live a Life of Righteousness and Love

Life, Prosperity and Honour

As you actively work to live a righteous life, God will bless you for it. When you actively work to love others, God will reward you with some great things! It makes sense that if you live your life in this positive way, God will provide you with many years to continue doing so – you will find life. Likewise, He will help you to prosper. That is, to have wealth, affluence, riches and/or success. The prosperous life is a great one, indeed!

Because of your life of integrity, you will also be honoured. There are so many blessings that God promises to those who will live life well for Him. The more we do for Him to reach and bless others, the more He will bless us. It’s a wonderful cycle.

Choose to live a life that is consumed by love and righteousness. When you do this, it is a promise from God that you will find life, prosperity and honour.

Financial tip – don’t shy away from second hand. Many things you need don’t have to be brand new. You can save a lot of money if you’re willing to purchase something previously loved by another: a fridge, car, lounge suite, etc.

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Cry of the Poor

Proverbs 21:13 – ‘If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.’

It can be so easy to claim that you don’t know how to help people. And yet, there are countless causes out there that people can give to. And if not causes, people probably right in your neighbourhood who are in need. Don’t shut your ears to the cry of the poor.

Do not Shut your Ears to the Cry of the Poor

Do not Shut your Ears to the Cry of the Poor

If you are or desire to be a wealthy Christian, then you should also desire one other thing – to help those in need. God’s word is very specific about helping others. There are verses that focus on helping the poor, the widow, and the orphan. There is also the story of the Good Samaritan. Reaching out to those in need is something for which God is passionate. So too, should we be.

It makes sense that God provides opportunities and finances for those who are wanting to do His work on this earth. If you shut your ears to the cry of the poor, then this is a bad thing. In fact, it can affect you detrimentally, as well as hurt the poor. God’s word indicates that if you ignore people in need, then He will ignore your needs. It’s as serious as that!

The Cry of the Poor

Do not shut your ears to the cry of the poor. Endeavour to help others as much as you can with your finances, your time, kind words and actions. Then God will not ignore you in your time of need.

Financial tip – compare the benefits of saving money and earning interest with keeping loans down that are incurring you interest. A mortgage may charge 5% interest while savings earn you 4% interest. It is wiser financially to put extra funds against the mortgage and save interest of 5%, rather than earn interest of 4% that ends up getting taxed.

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Plans of the Diligent

Proverbs 21: 5 – 6 – ‘The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapour and a deadly snare.’

There is so much in this verse! Let’s start at the beginning – the plans of the diligent. A diligent person is one who is hard working. They are thorough and careful, but they are also industrious; they keep busy. It is this kind of person that God’s word says is profitable.

The Plans of the Diligent Lead to Profit

The Plans of the Diligent Lead to Profit

If you work hard – consistently – and are careful in how you invest your time, you will see a profit. Whether or not this is financial, it will be beneficial to you. If you choose wisely how you spend your time, you will see the positive results of this. Consider how you spend your time and who you spend it with! Using your time to learn, to get closer to God and to bless others are all wonderful ways to be diligent.

Haste is said to lead to poverty and haste can be seen as an antonym to diligence. Do not do things in a rush. You may have a great business or product idea – do not rush it! Be wise about the energy and time you invest in it and make sure it is ready for the public before you make it available! Don’t rush things and put a product on the market that will flop because you didn’t do the task diligently. You won’t see a profit from this.

Plans of the Diligent

It is possible for people who lie to make a fortune. God’s word doesn’t indicate otherwise. It does instead say that money made this way won’t last long and it is unhealthy – a deadly snare. In all that you do, make sure you are using plans of the diligent. Be ethical and accountable. Remember that all we do on this earth is judged by our Creator. Make it worthwhile.

Financial tip – research residual income options; there are many avenues where you can put in the work once, but gain the rewards many times over.

An Inheritance Quickly Gained

Proverbs 20:21 – ‘An inheritance quickly gained at the beginning will not be blessed at the end.’

When you consider wealth, do you consider how it is achieved? Is it something you inherit? Is it something you come across quickly, like a get rich quick scheme? Or is wealth something that you see as being built slowly over time?

Proverbs provides some words to the wise about things that we might inherit or gain quickly. It indicates that these riches or provisions will not be blessed at the end. This is a sobering thought.

An Inheritance Quickly Gained

An Inheritance Quickly Gained...

An Inheritance Quickly Gained…

I think the same can be said for wealth – whether or not it is inherited. If we quickly gain something, then often it is not earned. We just happen to stumble upon it. And because of this, we do not truly appreciate it. We may even take it for granted and waste it.

Be prepared to work for your wealth. Recognise opportunities to earn and also invest and in all of these, thank God for them. As you find your finances are able to be accumulated in the form of savings or investments, again thank God! Recognise that wealth is not something gained overnight, it is a long process, but well worth it! You can make such an incredible impact for God when you have the finances to invest in areas He leads you to.

As a wealthy Christian, don’t fall into the trap of thinking an inheritance quickly gained is all you need. Work and don’t take any form of wealth for granted.

Financial tip – for big purchases, research pricing in advance of acquiring something. You can save yourself a lot of money if you take the time to look around.

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