Every magazine and newspaper is offering solutions to the current economic problems. And all of the talking heads on TV have help for the present financial mess. Most of what they are saying and printing makes sense, but if you step back and analyze their ideas, you’ll see that all of their solutions are secular versions of biblical stewardship principles.
We were speaking to a friend about using the Bible as a source of financial counsel, and he felt Scripture verses may have had some relevance 2,000 years ago, but it really wasn’t applicable to today’s world. But a deeper look confirms that the Bible is a wise, applicable and relevant source of information for today’s situation.
One of the most widely advocated media solutions is that you should be proactively paying off your debt. Read Romans 13:8: “Owe no man anything.” And Proverbs 22:7: “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. The Bible considers debt a form of slavery and gives clear instructions that we should be paying off debt and we should not become slaves of the credit that was so freely offered.
What about all the ideas on ways to keep your job? We hear and read: Work hard, keep your nose to the grindstone, make your boss happy, any job is better than no job at all. Again, the Bible gives us direction. Colossians 3:23, 24 advises: “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men. … It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” Even before original sin, work was a part of God’s plan for us. In Genesis 2:15, we learn: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.” We may not always recognize it, but work is plainly part of God’s plan for us, and whatever work we do honors him.
There are many subject matter experts promoting sanity in the housing market–another idea where the Bible offers help. Matthew 7:24-27: “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.” The rains, floods and winds can all be compared to our current economic crisis. Those who built their house on “rock,” i.e., they didn’t purchase a house beyond their means and they paid a reasonable down payment to establish suitable equity, probably don’t have housing problems today. However, problems can occur if you “built your house on sand.”
Then there are all the ideas about saving money. Again, many verses in the Bible offer ideas about saving and investing wisely. Proverbs 21:20: “A foolish man spends what ever he gets but a wise man saves for the future.” And 1 Timothy 6:9 states: “But those who want to get rich fall into temptation … which plunge men into ruin and destruction.” Proverbs 21:5 reads: “Steady plodding brings prosperity, but hasty speculation brings poverty.” It seems that there has been quite a lot of hasty speculation going on in the past few years! How many people could have benefited from a little Bible reading prior to making some of their investments?
Reading the Bible and finding the message of biblical stewardship for sound financial principles can give us a tremendous sense of peace and contentment that cannot be found anywhere on earth. The only thing we can be certain of is God. One of the ideas you will never hear from the secular world is from Hebrews 13:5: “Let your way of life be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for he himself has said, ‘I will never desert you nor will I ever forsake you.’”