Summary: If you follow these simple principles of finance, your bills will be paid, your testimony will be protected, your marriage will be enhanced, and your Savior will be honored!
Money, Money, Money ! –Rev. Dr. Edward Job
Matthew 6: 36
“Money isn’t everything in life, but it’s far ahead of whatever is in second place.” That famous quip is wrong; money is not life’s most important ingredient. Nevertheless, the significance of money should not be treated lightly. Some Christians consider it unspiritual to be interested in money; the plain truth, however, is that we cannot live without it and the Lord’s work cannot continue without it. If Christian people used more of their money for evangelistic outreaches, the gospel of Jesus Christ would make a far greater impact on this needy world. For the sake of the gospel, as well as for our own sakes, we need to learn how to manage money.
Our Christian testimony depends in part on the proper management of money. The Christian who does not pay his bills is a poor testimony to the saving power of Christ. The believer whose finances are a fiasco is a poor testimony to the wisdom and guidance of God. The husband and wife who are at war over money are a poor testimony to the love and peace of the Holy Spirit. Money ranks high on every family counselor’s list of problem areas in marriage. Some one has estimated that at least sixty percent of all married couples have had some degree of conflict over money. The Bible never suggests that it is a sin to be rich. On the contrary, some great men of faith have been among the wealthiest people of their day—men like Job, Abraham, David, and Solomon. It is this love for money and the things it can buy that destroys many a marriage. The Bible says that people who determine in their hearts to accumulate wealth create a trap for themselves. (Timothy 6:9)
The problem is basically a matter of heart attitude. We have all met people who lived in the barest of quarters, ate the plainest of food, and wore the simplest of clothing—yet were perfectly happy! Enjoy what God has given you! The sin of covetousness is listed with such other sins as fornication, stealing, and drunkenness. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) If we want God’s fullness of peace in our marriages, we will have to conquer our covetousness. “You cannot serve God and money.” (Matthew 6:24b) Most money problems can be solved by learning to manage properly the money God has entrusted to us. In addition to telling us what our attitude toward money should be, the Bible presents certain basic principles regarding the administration of our money.
Christ mentioned government first, too: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Mark 12:17, KJV) Even though many of us gripe about paying our taxes, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself sanctioned the government’s right to levy them. The Apostle Paul added this inspired exhortation: “Pay your taxes, too … Pay everyone whatever he ought to have: pay your taxes and import duties gladly, obey those over you, and give honor and respect to all those to whom it is due.” (Romans 13:6, 7, TLB) After our government obligations are met we turn to God’s part. God should get his part before anything else is paid, even if we must sacrifice something we would like to have in order to give Him his part.