When we tell individuals we run a ministry to teach people how to manage money God’s way, they usually look at us like we have three heads. And many listeners to our Radio show on Breadbox media ask “What does the Compass Catholic show title Manage Your Money God’s Way mean?”
The answer may surprise many people. Our source of financial advice is never wrong. For thousands of years, it’s never been wrong. The real expert on how we manage money and possessions is the Bible. There are 2,500 verses in the Bible dealing with money and possessions. In a country that seems to be moving further and further from Biblical foundations, the skeptical looks we get are easy to understand.
When we think of those who are skilled in financial decision making, we often think of experts or those who are older, wiser and more experienced. And even though they may sound so very confident in their predictions, many financial experts are, at best, just making an educated guess. It’s not the so-called experts and financial gurus that try to forecast the future direction of the stock market or real estate market who are the experts. It’s God’s word.
This is what the Bible says about itself in Hebrews 4:12, “Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.”
Scripture tells us we can have more insight and more wisdom than those who are experienced in the ways of man’s economy by searching the Bible.
The truths in the Bible are timeless. It’s a living book that our Lord uses to communicate His direction to all generations. The Lord cares for us and knew we’d need help with our money, so that’s why he gave us such clear financial direction in the Bible.
The reason Compass Catholic Ministries exists is to teach people what the Bible says about handling money. The very first filter we use when making a financial decision is the Bible. If it clearly answers a question, we do not have to go any further, because the Bible contains the Lord’s written, revealed will.
Some areas where the Bible gives us direction are:
1. God owns everything: 1 Chronicles 29:11-12, “Everything in the heaven and earth are yours and you are king, supreme ruler over all. All riches and honor come from you.” Too many time we think we are in control of our money and possessions and we do not acknowledge that everything we have is truly a gift from God.
2. Our possessions do not help us get to heaven: Mark 8:36, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” All of the stuff we own and which seems so important now, does not mean much in the end. Any material goods we accumulate, money we have or high honors we receive, is all useless the moment we die.
3. The Bible calls us to be content no matter how much or how little we have. Philippians 4:11-13, “For I have learned to be content in any and all circumstances. I have learned the secret of being filled or going hungry, living in abundance and want. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Contentment is a hard lesson to learn based on our society’s constant pressure to get more, have more, do more, be more. Yet nothing can be more comforting than learning to be content.
4. Saving to get rich is not a Godly goal: Luke 12:34, “Where your treasure is, there also your heart will be.” Our saving needs to be balanced with giving. Any savings should be done with the goal of taking care of future needs not accumulating wealth for the simple goal of being wealthy.
6. We are really serving God in our work when we use the talents God has given us to do our job. Colossians 3:23-24, “Whatever your task, work heartily as for the Lord and not men … You are serving the Lord Christ.”
7. We are called to be generous. Acts 20:35, “Remember the words of the Lord Jesus ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Unless our giving comes first, there is always an excuse to not give because we need the money for ourselves.
8. We are called to be honest in all things, at all times. In Matthew 5:37, Jesus tells us, “Let your yes mean yes and your no mean no. Anything more is from the evil one.” Everyday each of us makes many small choices about being totally honest.
9. Debt is not good: “The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is slave of the lender.” If you don’t think you are a slave to the lender, try missing a few payments on your credit card, car loan or mortgage and see what happens.
10. How we manage money and possessions impacts our life in eternity:
Luke 16:11, “If therefore you have not been faithful in handling worldly wealth who will entrust true riches to you?” Everything we do in this life has an eternal impact, even how we manage the money and possessions God has given to us.
11. God’s word gives us the ultimate truth. Judges 17:6 “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Instead of following the ways of the world, we need to follow God’s word. No matter what the experts predict or where they tell you to invest or where you are pressured to spend, following the Bible will never lead you astray.
I don’t know what financial challenges you are facing today. But I do know where you can go for help. It’s the Bible.