Money and the Bible
The Bible speaks about money in over 2,000 verses, which is more often than it speaks about faith and prayer. Is there wisdom found in ancient scriptures that can help you with your finances today? Not only do I believe this is a resounding “Yes!” but I believe that there are at least five life-changing wealth principles that can be found woven throughout the body of the Bible from cover to cover. In this article, I hope to introduce the first and possibly most important one.
Prosper as your Soul Prospers
The only topic more prevalent in the Bible than finances is the mention of God and the Kingdom of Heaven. The first wealth principle may be best described from 3 John 1:3: “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” (NASB1995) While the word “prosper” does not necessarily mean money and finances, in fact, health is even mentioned in the verse quoted above; it definitely does include financial prosperity as well.
What does it mean to “Prosper as your soul prospers,” and how does this help my finances?
Jesus lived in a different realm that He called the Kingdom of Heaven. He introduces and invites all mankind to join Him in this different realm. One of the most popular sermons of Jesus is called the Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew chapters 5 & 6, where He explains in many different ways the characteristics of this Kingdom and how to accept His invitation. Matthew 6:25 says, “For this reason, I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” (NASB1995)
One way we can step into this invitation is to avoid living a life of worry and anxiety. I know this is easier said than done, but Jesus was very clear that that’s not our job. Christ has called us to rely on our Heavenly Father as our source of everything, including food, clothing, and life’s daily necessities. Jesus adds some instruction in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; all these things will be added to you.”
So, what is our job?
To seek the money or provisions to acquire these daily needs, or to trust in God to take care of “all these things?” Jesus has invited us into a life without lack and to see the goodness of His ways and provision over the ways of the world’s economic system. Making the Kingdom of God a first priority means that the pressure is off on us having all of the answers and wisdom in all of life’s ebbs and flows, but realizing that God is really in charge of everything and He has invited us to an adventure with Him throughout our life.
When we leave a life of worry, doubt, and fear, we can become prosperous and grateful for the simplest daily things like food and clothing. When we realize that God wants to partner with us in His Kingdom, it’s no longer about how much income we have but rather how much impact we can make with our lives. I genuinely believe that when we flip the script from seeking money to seeking the Kingdom of God first, wealth (not necessarily money) will be attracted to our lives in many ways.
When we live a life of scarcity, we focus on what we have or don’t have and tend to be more defensive and exclusive. When we live a life of abundance, our focus becomes unlimited, and our posture becomes more about bringing value to our world instead of finding ways to get value from it. This attracts raises and promotions in the workplace when you become more valuable to your company. In business, this attracts more clients who are looking for the most value for their dollar and employees who are not only motivated by their paycheck but by purpose and the fulfillment of the positive influence their job may have on society, culture, families, and themselves.
Around eight years ago, my wife and I had a great start in promising careers in finance and law. Unfortunately, we did not learn of Dave Ramsey’s teaching then and made some financial decisions that he certainly would not have approved. We were not “acting our wage.” We just thought that someday we would get enough raises and promotions to dig our way out of an avalanche of debt on credit cards, two brand new car purchases with the payments to match, student loans, and rising childcare costs due to having two new babies in diapers as well as our older children. It got so bad that we actually got educated on what bankruptcy options we may have, and thankfully, we realized that this was not a wise option, primarily because of the negative impact it would have on our careers and future earning potential. So, we decided to make some drastic changes immediately, and we did. While we did clean out our closets and have multiple garage sales, pack our lunches or skip them altogether, reduce eating out, and plan more meals at home, we could only reduce our expenses by so much.
The focus needed to change from saving money to making more money. Thankfully, at this time, I became introduced more intimately to this principle of prospering as my soul prospers. My wife and I went to work with a different attitude. We didn’t go and ask for raises and promotions. We asked how we could be more valuable to our workplace and clients. Long story short, the value we added to our professions was recognized quickly. The manager that I was working with and pouring into got promoted. It wasn’t long after that, as he was building his new team, he invited me to join him, and I was also promoted and given a raise. My wife had a breakthrough in an area of law that she practiced and found a way to save her clients enormous amounts of legal red tape and costs. Her clients then began to give her new case after new case, way more than she could handle, so her firm was required to hire more attorneys to help carry her ever-growing caseload. Other firms took notice as well, and she was eventually recruited by a new firm that recognized and rewarded her success by inviting her to become their youngest female partner ever. In this promotion, the new law firm learned of our financial struggles and debt and included in the partnership and raise a compensation package that included paying off all of our debt! I know, right?
We didn’t stop there once these experiences radically changed our lives. We actually sold our house (that we could now afford) and bought one that was even more affordable. We traded in our vehicles for ones that made more economic sense. My job was going so well that my boss let me take two days off a week to stay home with my baby girls and still pay my full salary. This is just a small example of the prosperity we have experienced during this season and for the last eight years, and it is not due to our hard work and grind but entirely due to our mind and spirit change to “Seek first the Kingdom of God” and all of those other things were added to us. God gave us the ideas of what we could do in the natural, and then He stepped in and provided the supernatural.
As one of our core values, Colossians 3:23 states, "In all the work you are doing, work the best you can. Work as if you were doing it for the Lord, not for people.” Whitaker-Myers Wealth Managers has a team of financial advisors who strive to “live it and give it,” working hard to improve every day in life and with business. If you have questions about investing, one of our advisors would happily work with you.