5 Verses About Money and What We Can Learn From Them
Summer is a busy season, especially when you’re a parent. My wife and I are both teachers, so the summer gives us a short window of time to accomplish numerous goals, including keeping up with our kids’ progress toward maturity.
Our oldest son, Walter, got his first real job this year. Because he has a very busy school year, he can only work during the summer. So, my wife and I have the blessing and challenge of pouring God’s truth into him faster than the money pours out of his bank account.
Here are five Bible verses about money and stewardship we are trying to teach him. Of course, these are truths for all of us. Let’s see how these biblical truths can impact our everyday lives.
1. Stewardship matters because God embedded it into creation (Genesis 1:26-28).
At the beginning of world history, God orchestrated creation with man as His intended steward. When God gave Adam his name, He also gave Adam his job. His responsibilities included caring for the Garden of Eden, naming and having dominion over the animals, and managing God’s creation responsibly.
Stewardship is a matter of resource management. Those resources come from the hand of the Creator. He trusts man to manage His possessions. Stewardship matters because it is a foundational part of what it means to be human. Stewardship matters because God planted it in the Garden of Eden.
2. Stewardship matters because everything belongs to God (Psalm 50:10-12).
God will one day judge the thoughts and actions of every human soul. Psalm 50 warned God’s people that, because of their sinfulness, God would not accept their offerings. While God wants worship from His people, and while financial giving is an important component of worship, God never speaks from the position of being in need. He owns it all. His land and livestock holdings are infinite. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He keeps the snow in His storehouses (Job 38:22-23). All the silver and gold on earth are His (Haggai 2:8). Everything belongs to the One who created it.
If we look at our bank balance, real estate portfolio, or retirement account with the attitude of, “That’s mine. I built that,” then we set ourselves up for failure. What God gives, He can take away (Job 1:21). By recognizing that everything belongs to the Lord, generosity becomes less of a struggle. There is freedom in building wealth to honor the God, rather than hoarding money for selfish purposes.
3. Stewardship matters because obsessing over money leads to disaster (1 Timothy 6:10).
Money is a mirage. The hungrier people are to accumulate it, the further out of reach it appears. By obsessing over money, people neglect their regular responsibilities to God, their commitment to their family, and their focus on any other area of life. The pursuit of financial wealth becomes an obsession. Paul described it as a craving for money that leads people away from the truth of God’s Word. While money itself is not a root of evil, the love for it causes a world of pain.
Many Christians are familiar with 1 Timothy 6:10, but verse 9 of that same chapter warns of the dangers of obsessing over riches. The desire to be rich becomes a snare, a trap that always leads to ruin. We can apply the truths of 1 Timothy by placing money in its proper position as a resource to be used wisely for the glory of God.
4. Stewardship matters because life moves too quickly to obsess over it (Luke 12:13-21).
Someone once asked Jesus to decide a debate over an inheritance. Jesus’s response showed everyone the danger of obsessing over earthly treasures while ignoring the call to be rich towards God. Jesus’s answer to the question painted a sobering picture of a man who focused so much on the building of bigger and better barns that he neglected to worship the God who had provided it all. The man’s goal was relaxation, ease, and enjoyment. Death issued an unexpected message to the rich fool that nothing accompanies us into the afterlife except our relationship with God.
In our effort to build wealth, we must always keep watch on the shortness of life. Our lives are but vapors (James 4:14), and they pass into history far sooner that we realize. God has given His people many things to do, and stewardship over the life He has given us includes a strong call to worship Him in how we acquire and use our financial resources.
5. Stewardship matters because it prepares us for eternity (Matthew 25:14-30).
As Jesus instituted the kingdom of God, He made it clear that God uses a much higher set of standards than mankind. God values trust and wisdom, and to illustrate these kingdom principles, Jesus told a story about a man taking a trip. Since the man would be gone for an undetermined length of time, he divided his property among three servants. The master entrusted his property in proportion to each servant’s ability. When he returned, he rewarded faithful servants who used his property wisely and punished the servant who hoarded his master’s possessions. The lesson is a stark one.
As followers of Jesus, we have been entrusted with a finite amount of time, talent, and financial resources. God expects His people to use His resources wisely, and our work here prepares us for eternity. Verse 21 provides two key principles about stewardship: God rewards wise stewardship, and He entrusts greater responsibilities to those people who prove themselves faithful. As we build our eternal relationship with God, let us steward well the resources He has entrusted to us. May He say to each of us when we stand before Him, “Well done, My good and faithful servant.”
About the author: Matthew Collier has spent two decades as a bi-vocational pastor and high school social studies teacher in northeast Arkansas. He and his wife Jennifer have three kids: Walter, Abigail, and Benjamin. He is a second-year Doctor of Ministry student at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Cordova, TN. His passions are spending time with family, preaching and teaching, coin collecting, and following the Atlanta Braves and Arkansas Razorbacks.