Money management is a hot topic in modern society. A unending flow of books give testimony to the fact. Self-made gurus make millions by telling others what to do. Isn’t it ironic that a growth in prosperity has seen an uptick in confusion? Though many have more money at their disposal than ever before, they seem lost regarding what to do with it. Our society and school systems haven’t helped us much. Money management isn’t really taught. Many avoid it, out of fear of making others feel uncomfortable. Many want answers about finances; yet, they desire secrecy at the same time. Perhaps guilt and greed have much to do with our silence on this issue. Fortunately, the Bible gives insight. Consider three Scriptural actions we can take to manage our money well.
Budget your money.
In advising his son on wealth management, King Solomon (one of the wealthiest men who ever lived) said, “Know well the condition of your flock, and pay attention to your herds, for wealth is not forever; not even a crown lasts for all time” (Proverbs 27:23-24). Cattle were the chief form of currency in the ancient Near East. The King was admonishing his son to know how much money he had, and to be careful regarding how he used it. Many 21st century believers need to pay attention to the ancient advice. Most Americans enjoy more wealth than the average person from human history, but they do little to manage it wisely. They neither plan, track, or manage spending. A cluttered credit card bill is often the only record of expenses. If you want to manage your money well, make it your aim to know what you have, know what you need, plan what you will spend, and hold yourself accountable.
Save your money.
Solomon further advised his son, saying, “Precious treasure and oil are in the dwelling of a wise person, but a foolish man consumes them“ (Proverbs 21:20). Solomon knew that there are two types of people. One sets aside a portion of total revenue, and another consumes it all. Be like the first; don’t be like the last. No matter what you receive, you can save a little, if you are budgeting correctly. Many modern money experts share stories of people on marginal incomes who have amassed decent wealth over time, all because they budgeted and saved diligently. My wife and I purposely set aside a healthy percentage of all that we make for retirement and other uses. We believe that this is both wise (see Proverbs 30:24-25), and pleasing to Jesus (see Matthew 25:14-30).
Give your money.
Solomon told his son, “Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the first produce of your entire harvest” (Proverbs 3:9). Our human nature teaches us that Solomon’s sage advice is beneficial. Throughout human history, cultures and customs have smiled upon generosity. In fact, the giving of a tithe has been commonplace practice for many societies, not just the ancient Jewish people. It is as if the Lord has hardwired our hearts to know that we should give a portion of what we receive. Through charity, the Lord blesses others, and he also refines our character, teaching us to trust Him and to keep money in proper perspective.