The Bible tells us to honour God with our money (Proverbs 3:9), but what does that look like in practice? Rachel Pearce shares her thoughts as we mark the start of a new tax year.
From the well-known verse about the love of money being the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10) to more obscure teachings on debt and giving, finance is a theme that runs from Genesis to Revelation. Here are four biblical principles to focus on when it comes to managing our money in the new tax year.
Not everyone agrees that tithing is a requirement today, but it helps me remember that everything I own comes from God and to put him first in all things, including my finances.
Malachi 3:10 says: “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house…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.”
We obviously shouldn’t give to receive, but I believe that God honours those who honour him – with their possessions and in everyday life.
Paul encouraged the believers in Corinth to be generous, telling them that “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). Some churches pressure their members to give, but if we read the rest of this verse, we see that we should do so based on the Holy Spirit’s prompting (“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give”). This might be as simple as buying a coffee for someone, or a big gesture like opening our homes to Ukrainian refugees. Whatever God asks of us, we should do from a place of love rather than out of compulsion.
It’s a bit of a no-brainer that we should avoid spending more than we make, but that isn’t always easy, especially with food and energy prices on the rise. It can really help to put together a budget so we know where our money is going and meet our core obligations before splurging all our cash on chocolate cake!
As Luke 14:28 says: “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?”
If I’m not sure whether to buy something, I ask myself: “Is it necessary, is it good for me and is it godly?”
It’s important to work hard (2 Thessalonians 3:10) and trust God in all aspects of our lives (Proverbs 3:5-6), but it also makes sense to set some money aside for the future if we can afford to. Proverbs 30:25 points out that the ants save food in summer to get themselves through the winter. Sticking a small amount into an ISA each month could help to build a sizeable emergency or retirement fund over the years. And if you end up with more than you need, give it away cheerfully!
Luke 6:38 says: “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.”