What Is Money? What Does the Bible Say About Money?
Let’s face it, we all need money to pay rent, eat, provide clothing, etc. So what is money? Money is simply a measure of resources. There are several different types of resources. There is land, there is labor, there is scarce minerals and goods, etc. Money simply represents these resources. It represents worth. It represents utility or “usefulness.”
In the old days, they didn’t use money as much. They did have silver or gold coins, and they would use that at times. But they would simply barter or “trade” goods too many times. However, as life grew more complex, the need for a monetary system quickly developed.
Suddenly, there was a need to do complex trading. So to simplify things, money was used as a standard. Of course, like almost any other thing in the world, money would soon be abused by people.
What Does the Bible Say About Money, Wealth, & Being Rich?
You may be reminded of several Biblical principles when you think of money. Quotes such as “money is the root of all sorts of evil,” quickly come to mind. Also, let’s not forget what Jesus had to say about money:
“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (NIV, Matthew 6:24-25, 31-33)
The verse above shows a few Biblical principles very clearly. First, it acknowledges that God is aware of our need for money. Of course we need money to survive. God fully knows this.
Second, it says that if you seek the kingdom of God first, all of those things (money, food, etc.) will be given to you. This is a very interesting verse. Jesus says that if we seek the kingdom of God first, everything that we need will be provided. This tells us that God indeed has plans to give us money or take care of our needs. God will feed you. So those are two powerful points. God knows we need money, God plans to give us money if we seek his kingdom first.
Is Being Rich or Wealthy a Sin? What Does the Bible Say About Having Money?
With all the above being said, we must look closely at the question of what God & Bible says about money.
The Bible can be summed up in these main points: God understands that we need money, God gives us resources and blesses some people with lots of money, God commands we tithe our money and give generously to support ministry so others can come to Christ, and God expects us to wisely manage our money and to give generously to those in need.
The Bible clearly indicates that God has blessed people with wealth. Also, keep in mind that some of the most holy and righteous people in the Bible were wealthy. God blessed Job with wealth after testing him. God blessed King Solomon with both wealth and wisdom. In fact, Solomon is considered the wealthiest person who has ever lived.
God also blessed Abraham, Jacob, and many others with wealth. So this indicates that God does not view being rich or having money as being sinful. If that were the case, He would not have blessed so many faithful people with money. There is nothing wrong with saving money, working hard to better your life, setting financial goals, or even being wealthy/rich.
However, let us not forget the dangers of money as well. Money becomes a tool of the enemy (Satan) when we spend every hour of the day plotting on how to make more money. Or if we do immoral or corrupt/evil things just to get more money. Or if we are very wealthy & we refuse to help others by giving financial help when they need it badly.
All of these things make money evil. Money itself isn’t evil, and even having a lot of money isn’t a sin or evil. It is the worship of money that is evil. It is falling for the temptation to sin or doing wrong just to get money. That is the problem.
The Bible warns us of this kind of behavior in two scriptures below:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (NIV, Matthew 6:19-21)
“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” (NIV, Proverbs 23:4-5)
It is truth that money doesn’t make you happy. In fact, some of the most wealthy people in the world have committed suicide, had diseases & problems that all of the money in the world couldn’t cure. I love the quote by Zig Ziglar that says, “Money won’t make you happy, but everyone wants to find out for themselves.”
Regardless of your net worth, you will still die on this earth. You will witness hardships, lies, fears, health problems, sadness, frustrations, and all of the other human emotions. Sometimes great wealth also carries with it greater problems and burdens.
True happiness only comes when you fully embrace the life God wants you to have-regardless of how much money you acquire. This means living by His incredible word, loving everyone, forgiving those that have wronged you, & following the commands & teachings of the Bible.
Conclusion of What the Bible Says About Money, Wealth, & Being Rich
Money is a great resource. It is meant to represent worth & value in our society. It should be treated with respect & managed wisely. God clearly understands that we all need money. He even wants to give us money if we seek His way of life. However, don’t let money rule you. Let God be your true master, not money! There is nothing wrong with acquiring wealth, having nice things, improving your life, etc. But don’t forget all of the others who will need YOUR help, and my help along the way.