So, this is my first post where I am researching and attempting to interpret what the Bible has to say about funds. I have never taken a theology class and sometimes my interpretations and assumptions can be WAY off! If you have a different take on the topic, some advice or comments, I would love to hear from you. After all, the purpose of my blog is to learn and explore this topic. Thank you, C
Money, currency, cash, coins … whatever you want to call it, we have to remind ourselves that it is just another material thing on Earth that we can’t take with us. It’s a tool to gain the things we need and most of the time frankly, just want. These flimsy strips of paper are only valuable because our society tells us that it’s valuable. You can’t eat it, it can’t shelter you from the elements, it only buys things. My point? The Bible talks about being satisfied with what we have and warns us of being too concerned with material possessions.
“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have.” Hebrews 13:5
After exploring several passages, I have gathered that while the Bible warns about idolizing material things there are several examples that describes managing what you do have responsibly, wisely, and with the intention of growing what you have in order to do great things in your life to ultimately serve God.
No matter how little or how much you have, managing your wealth well is what matters. Are you diligent in your saving, putting aside money every paycheck? Or do you spend it all on the latest and greatest? Do you educate yourself as to how to improve your earning potential, how to invest, or how to increase your worth overall?
“9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings. 10 One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?” Luke 16 : 9 – 12
This passage stands out to me because it is expected of us to be good stewards of wealth and to honor God with what we have. If you have a little bit of wealth, how did you do good with what little possessions you had? Did you invest it, improve land, or in some way make it better hereafter for another world? Riches will eventually fail us when we die but by doing good with it on Earth, does that mean we will be received into Heaven?
Looking at the annualized returns from the S&P 500 from the year I was born (1983), until the end of 2015, it has been around 11+%. What are CD’s paying today? About 1% or so? That means if my parents would have put $10,000 in an index fund following the S&P 500, it would have been worth $337,000 today assuming dividends were reinvested! Maybe I should’ve done that for my kids?
God wants us to store up wealth (treasure) for the future so we can do good with it!
“17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” 1 Timothy 6 : 17 -19
The Bible also warns of not letting money and material possessions rule you. I still have student loans and a mortgage that I can’t wait to get rid of! Sometimes I find myself, more often than I’d like to admit, creating spreadsheets to accelerate my student loan payoff date. Even though I can make the payments just fine, this consumes me with worry and anxiety because I cannot get rid of them fast enough. I’m sure we all feel that way when we have debt hanging over our heads but it is important to just be smart about money, don’t let it burden you and don’t neglect other things in your life to accumulate it.
“18 And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, 19 but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.” Mark 4 : 18 – 19