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Fiscal Cliffs, Wisdom and What the Bible Says about Wealth

With pundits predicting doom in America, it would be a great time to see what the Bible says about money, all the more as the United States approaches the “Fiscal Cliff.”

The most common statement about money people know from the Bible is that money is the root of all evil.

That is incorrect.

Actually, it is the love of money that is the root of all evil (1 Tim. 6:10).

Is there any wisdom the Bible would have to offer on money?

Proverbs 13:11 tells us, “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.

This is the anti-“get-rich-quick” verse.

Statistics show lottery ticket winners often waste the money quickly. Here, the Bible encourages a slow, steady faithfulness when it comes to money.

The Bible even tells us how to save.

Ecclesiastes 11:1-2 tells us: “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.” As we save and invest, diversify. The old adage, “Don’t put your eggs all in one basket” applies here as well.

Perhaps one of the strongest statements the Bible makes is to avoid debt.

God forbid Israel from being indebted to the nations around them, knowing it would place them in bondage. Proverbs has many places where it encourages believers to stay away from debt, comparing it to being caught in a snare (22:25-26).

The Bible does not only focus on acquiring wealth, but giving it away.

In the Old Testament, there were required offerings, of which the tithe was one. When you add up all the required times of giving, it was probably closer to 22 percent, not merely the 10 percent the tithe represents.

While the New Testament does not place a percentage on giving, it goes a step further. The perspective we have on our money needs to be that it is all Gods anyway. This promotes obedience based giving. As we do this, the tithe is a great starting point, but likely God will ask us to give even more!

1 Corinthians 16:1-2 gives an interesting perspective on giving. Paul admonishes the believers to set aside some every week to give when needs arise. This is a picture of intentionally saving, not only to build our own wealth, but saving to give when the need arise!

The Bible challenges us to be wise, to plan and, most of all, to be generous.


• Do you have a plan to save over the long run? Pick something you can give up each week and put that money aside for the future.
• Challenge yourself this week to be generous in your giving, more than normal.

It is easy to point the finger at governments and corporations. Change begins with us.

How are we personally walking in these biblical principles?

How can the church influence by walking in godly wisdom concerning money?   

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Chris Lautsbaugh lives in Muizenberg, South Africa. He serves with Youth With a Mission (YWAM), teaching and training internationals to be missionaries and church leaders. Together with his wife Lindsey, they lead and steward training programs and ministries in and around Cape Town, reaching out to under privileged communities, planting churches, and meeting needs associated with the issues South Africa is facing. They have been in missions for 35 combined years. They serve together with their two boys, Garett and Thabo. Chris blogs at www.nosuperheroes.com and has published a book on grace, Death of the Modern Superhero:How Grace Breaks our Rules.