A while back I published a post on this site that gave hundreds of bible verses about money. The verses were all in some way related to one financial topic or another. A few of the subjects covered in the post included greed, saving, debt, hard work, honesty, planning, stewardship, worry and where we can find true wealth.
When I look back on the post I'm glad I wrote it and I think it gives a pretty good picture of how we're told to view money and how it relates to our spiritual lives. One thing that I thought I could rectify with another post, however, is instead of just having a huge number of verses on the topic, I thought I would write a shorter post giving a few of what I thought were the more important and impactful scriptures, along with a bit of explanation as to why I think they're so important.
So today I want to give 8 of my favorite bible verses about money, and talk about why I think they're important for all Christians to know and understand.
8 Important Bible Verses About Money
I've read that there are over 2000 bible verses about money and related topics. Why is that? I think in part because our financial lives can quickly consume us, our money and wealth becoming an idol that can overtake our lives. In other words, if we're not careful about how we view money it can take God's place in our lives, and lead to ruin.
Because of that I think it's important that we are always aware of where we place our hope. It needs to be in Christ Jesus, and not money. So with that said, let's look at 8 bible verses about money that I've cherry picked from hundreds available – because I think that they are representative of some of the most important themes running through all the verses.
Matthew 6:24 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.
This touches on the theme I've already mentioned, how money can quickly begin competing for our attentions with God. Money, in some ways, allows us to be more self sufficient and to allow ourselves to think that we don't really need God. Once we begin to serve money, and do anything to get more of it – it won't be long before money becomes your master. Be on guard about your need for a savior!
Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
One idea that runs through a lot of the verses is that true contentment doesn't come from having money or possessions, but instead through having a personal relationship with Christ. I've found it to be true in my own life, whether you're going through life with a lot or a little true meaning and contentment comes not from your circumstances or the things you have, but from above.
Luke 12:15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
There are a lot of verses about greed, I think because it's such an important topic. It is constantly stressed how we need to guard against allowing our money and possessions to become our life's defining goal and pursuit. Greed never ends well, the bible makes that abundantly clear with tens of verses on the topic (examples include Mark 8:36, Proverbs 15:27, Proverbs 1:19). Ephesians 5:5 says, “For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person-such a man is an idolater-has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God”
Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not repay, But the righteous shows mercy and gives.
This is a short verse, but to me it says a lot. It tells us how it's important to stand by our word, and to follow through when we've said we're going to do something. If we borrow money, we need to repay it. We shouldn't be deceitful in our dealings. It also tells us what we need to do in order to be righteous. We need to be merciful to others, and live with a spirit of giving. In other words we need to live a Christ-like life.
1 Timothy 6:6-12 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
This verse is one of the most often mis-quoted, but still most illuminating scriptures about money. Many people quote this verse, wrongly, as saying that money is the root of all evil. In fact, the verse says that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. In other words, it's not the money itself that is evil, but the love of money. It also says the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, not that it is the root of all evil. Big difference.
In any event, it is just as easy for someone with $100 in their bank account to fall prey to the love of money as it is for someone with 1 million dollars. It's an issue of the heart and where our focus lies. No matter whether you are rich or poor a love of money will lead to “many foolish desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction”.
It tells us that we need to flee from the love of money, and instead pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. All of which we need God's help to do because of our inherently selfish natures.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
This verse once again focuses on the importance of being generous to a fault, to be “rich in good deeds” and never allowing your focus to waver from where it needs to be. Don't put your hope in wealth because it never satisfies.
Matthew 6:25, 33 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
I know that worry is a big problem for a lot of people, always worrying about whether they've got enough for retirement, if they'll be able to make next month's mortgage payment or send their kids to college. One worry replaces the next. While it's a good idea to plan for your future, there's also a danger of allowing yourself to worry too much, not trusting in God's provision – and instead trusting in wealth. We're told that God will provide for us because he knows we need these things, but there are more important things to do, like seeking His kingdom and His righteousness. When we do that we'll find that we're always in his care, no matter what. He will provide.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
This last verse, while it doesn't speak directly to the topic of money, does talk about where we can find true riches, in God's son Jesus Christ. Jesus came down to earth, lived a blameless life and then died for our sins. Despite all the bad things we've done, He forgives our sins as long as we believe in Him and acknowledge our need for Him. We are forgiven and have an inheritance in heaven that we haven't earned, but are freely given. It truly is amazing!
When I read these scriptures a lot of them come back to the idea of making sure of where our focus in life is. Is it on temporal things of this world like money and possessions, or is it on an eternal treasure that never rusts, fades or disappears?
Do you want to change your focus today and find your inheritance in Christ? You can. Just pray this sinner's prayer:
“Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”