Here are a few common questions: “Doesn’t the Bible say that money is the root of all evil? Are you implying that a holy God would stoop so low as to work through something as vile as our finances?”
My answers to those two questions are “no” and “yes.” The correct Bible quote is:
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. – 1 Timothy 6:10 NIV
Money is amoral, neither good or bad; how we handle it is the challenge.
Therefore, we shouldn’t be surprised if a holy God wants to use money to guide us, challenge us, and improve us.
The late Larry Burkett points out that there are over 1,000 references to money in the Bible, second only to the subject of love.
In fact, it was Burkett’s book, Your Finances in Changing Times, that inspired this post.
How Does God Work Through Our Finances?
1. To Strengthen Our Trust in Him
It is easy to trust God when all is going well, but how about when you lose your job, have unexpected medical bills, or when your car breaks down and you don’t have the resources to pay for the repair? During those trying times, God wants to turn our anxieties into trust:
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6:33 NIV
The only way some of us will look up is when we are flat on our backs. God knows this and will use those times to meet our needs if we will put him first.
2. To Develop Our Trustworthiness
Every financial transaction is an opportunity to prove our trustworthiness to God and to others. According to Thomas J. Stanley’s book, The Millionaire Mind, the number one factor attributing to the success of multimillionaires is “being honest with all people.” We shouldn’t be surprised. As we prove our trustworthiness to others, they will be drawn to us and want to do business with us.
Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. – Luke 16:10 NIV
3. To Prove His Love
As our heavenly Father, God wants to provide for us if we will only allow Him to.
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! – Matthew 7:1 NIV
How does our Father provide? He takes care of us by giving us the ability to work and by providing opportunities to earn money. It is all His and He wants to show His love for us by giving to us.
4. To Demonstrate His Power Over the World
When God put Joseph in a position of power in Egypt, God promised (through a dream he gave Joseph) seven years of prosperity which would be followed by seven years of famine (Genesis 41:27-57). Pharaoh wisely appointed Joseph to ensure that Egypt would store grain during the bumper crop years in order to sustain the nation and neighboring nations during the lean years. Then God demonstrated his power over the world by providing those seven good years and seven bad years.
Sometimes we allow our tunnel vision to prevent us from realizing that our God is in control of not only our finances, but those of the entire world.
5. To Unite Christians Through Shared Blessings
We know and God knows that our finances have an ebb and flow to them. When times are good, He expects us to share with believers in need. When times are lean, others will step up and bless us. Paul points this out to the Corinthian church in 2 Corinthians 8:15 as he challenges them to give generously to the needy Christians in Jerusalem.
6. To Provide Direction for Our Lives
Do you have an abundance? God wants to give you wisdom about how to handle that abundance (Matthew 25:15-29). Are you struggling financially? God’s promise is:
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9 NIV
7. To Satisfy the Needs of Others
The reality of life is that we are our brothers’ keeper. I don’t know what other religious groups respond regularly to disasters around the world, but I do know that God expects Christians to as evidenced:
If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? – 1 John 3:17 NIV
God works in every aspect of our lives, including our finances. He will use those finances to teach us to trust him, to become trustworthy, to prove His love for us, to guide us, and to meet needs of fellow believers and unbelievers.
We should expect nothing less from a sovereign God.
How does God use money to work in your life? Leave a comment!
James Salmons says
All of your points are very important and valuable.
Not to get too technical, but it is important to remember that money is nothing more or less than a “medium of exchange.” Without it everything would have to be direct barter. It is the way we exchange our work for goods or services. That is why your statement that it is “amoral” is an absolute truism. It cannot be otherwise.
When I teach my ten laws of money which I used in classes for some years before starting to write on the web (I am old enough that I have to confess there was no web back then!) I rarely told people unless I was in a church environment how I developed those laws. I spent years working on them, taking every passage in the Bible about money, grouped them by themes and organized them into my laws.
When people suggested that they were “Christians” and didn’t think people should be so concerned with worldly things like money, I would point this out to them. Your points all relate to sharing this idea, that it is how we use the money we have that counts. And it is clearly a proper and Christian thing to consider.
Michael Hudnell says
I love this article! Thank you very much for shedding light in this topic.
Pat Mingarelli says
Larry Burkett was so insightful and wise. Everyone of those points are so true. How much do we lack faith when we go into debt? Can we not trust God or do we have to trust our credit cards? If we cannot be trusted with our finances do we think God should trust us with something greater?
Thanks for your posts and blog.
Very good point!
That was right on the mark. Good stuff!
I believe that when we get blessed, God sees us , how we use are money, we should bless the needy, but he also disciplines us when we bless the wrong, so we lose to see who to bless and who not to bless. Just be careful and ask Our heavenly father he directs us.
Amen. A very powerful article. Money answers all things. Th how we get th money and how we use it really matters to God. May tje Lord give us wisdom on how to use money to the glory of God
Fritz @ TheRetirementManifesto says
….”there are over 1,000 references to money in the Bible”.
‘Nuf said! God clearly uses money as one of his means of reaching/teaching/preaching to us while we’re on this earth. Recognize it for what it is, and keep your focus on the most important things. Great post.
Lauren (SeedTime Editor) says
I am struggling with the idea that God uses or needs money for His Church to function. He said upon this Rock I will build My Church. That Rock wasn’t money.
Korrie Schubert says
This is very nice, simple, and wise. Love how you write!
Marie Nicolas says
this email came right on time. i have been experiencing some hardship for some time now and thought that God had forgotten about me. I have been scared to go out there on the Work force because i fear of not succeeding but, as i was going through this article and God minister to me and told me NOT TO FEAR because HE is in control and that He have much greater purpose for me. I was not here just work and pay bills. He reminds me that was I made to be his servant to carry out his words.
Lauren (SeedTime Editor) says
Great timing, Michelle – glad to hear it! God bless!
This great article is so timely right now in my life, such a blessing. We really do need to think about our money habits from God’s point of view.
Lauren (SeedTime Editor) says
Seven amazing points. God bless u for the post
Lauren (SeedTime Editor) says
Thank you, Israel!
Joe, all the points you mentioned are correct. The issue is that most a time we fail to recognize that it is God working in our finance so instead of following Him step by step, we draw back in following Him or run ahead of His leading.
Gordon Lindsay said: “Prosperity seems to have an adverse spiritual effect on all except those who have a sound spiritual foundation.”
The more you have as a Christian, the more the tests become. You will have many Money Tests from God, and you have to pass them if you really want to progress.
Mr HM (Phil) says
My wife is of Jewish extraction and in Judaism money/wealth is viewed as spiritual simply because as a concept is not physical.
Growing a business can provide others income, give opportunity to enhance a community and generally improve the community and neighbourhood too.
Doing business is seen as a privilege and a spiritual activity.
Just a thought.
SK foysal mahamud says
I am a Muslim background believer I baptism 15 July 2006 after then I share my testimony and I am talking about Jesus story to them for changing there life. but my parents and some of my relative forgets me and so many time people and police touching me but I am not upset nonstop i am trying my best so now I am working Khulna division 8 district in Bangladesh now I have need Bible I have need Bible trans for new believer for making disciples to them and other electronic and nonelectric materials for God’s kingdom so please come and help us thanks foysal bd
Thanks so much. This article will really help me right now. Thanks once again
If god ends up being real why would he care about paper that we as humans have put value too? Your financial problems happen because of your money management skills or a hardship like losing a job. God is never going to fix your money problems. You have to fix your money problems or get professional help. It is dangerous to teach people that some invisible man in the sky (that no one can prove is real) will handle your financial hardships and make everything better. I just can’t believe there is soo much financial advice surrounding religion and god on the internet. No wonder so many people are in debt!!
Idorenyin Emmanuel Joshua says
This material is very helpful and useful for self training and also impacting knowledge on others.
Thanks so much.
Artie whitefox says
I will rip this person up one side and down the other. God does not provide us riches through money. God did that already through what he made. People added money. It is what people see as more. Lucifer who fell, fooling that beings self. There was no money before sin. Satan made it through people. Satan is implying that the verse, degrading money, is not really degrading money Timothy 6:10
King James Version
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. Money causes people to be sorrowful when they don’t have a thing that the world uses. God does not want people to be sorrowful. That is why the Unseen Father said ask, and ye shall receive, through Jesus. Person to person. Free a cannot be real until money is gone. People need to care about people, not money. God did not make money, saying, it was very good. Man did that trying to make money to be as good as what God made, making excuses as to why we should not let go of money, all at one time. Words in due season are like apples of gold, in a picture of silver. God looks at that admiering how beutiful it is. People see that, thinking: how much could I get, had I have that picture of gold and silver? God does not think like that at all. Satan thinks like that thropugh a person. The wicked conquistadors thought in that way. Jesus charged people who he healed? People had medical bills? Luke 16:10 had to do with biblical knowledge, used rightly. Jesus is concerned with saving souls, not bank accounts. People who used it wrong made judging to be condemning. People with blood in them must not condemn, even as Jesus did not condemn, when on the earth, having blood in him. 3. God’s mind needs to be in our mind. Money will be no more had God’s mind be in the minds of people on this planet. What else would you expect? Indian’s worked. They used god’s gifts. The settlers hated that, killing them off. The famine a was staved off, not with money, but with food. Bring into the store house has nothing to do with money.
Artie whitefox says
God does not provide us riches through money. God did that already through what he made. People added money. It is what people see as more. Lucifer who fell, fooling that beings self. There was no money before sin. Satan therefore made it. Satan is implying that the verse degrading money is not really degrading money Timothy 6:10
King James Version
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. Money itself causes people to be sorrowful, when they don’t have a thing that the world uses. God s does not want people to be sorrowful. That is why the Unseen father said ask and ye shall receive. Person to person. Free a cannot be real untill money is gone. People need to care about people, not money. God did not make money saying it was very good. Man did that trying to make money to be as good as what God made, making excuses as to why we should not let go of money, all at one time. Words in due season are like apples of gold in a picture of silver. People seeing that will think: how much can I get had I have that picture of gold and silver? God does not think that at all. Wicked conquistadors thought in that way. Jesus charged people who he healed? People had medical bills? Luke 16:10 had to do with biblical knowledge used aright. People who used it wrong made judging to be condeming. People with blood in them must not condemn, even as Jesus did not condemn, when on the earth having blood in him. God’s mind needs to be in our mind. Money will be no more had God’s mind be in the minds of people on this planet. What else would you expect? Indians worked. They used God’s gifts. The settlers hated that, killing them off. The famine a was staved off, not with money, but with food. Bring into the store house has nothing to do with money.