Generosity

Why God Cares About Money

77% of households in America are in debt. Nearly 40% of Americans don’t have the cash to cover a $400 emergency. And the average American has $5,525 in credit card debt.God cares about the space in our hearts occupied by money. Is money an idol for us? Do we control money, or does money control us? In the following article, we’ll look at what the Bible has to say about money, and how we can respond as followers of Jesus.

H1 What’s a Rich Text element?

H2 What’s a Rich Text element?

H3 What’s a Rich Text element?

H4 What’s a Rich Text element?

H5 What’s a Rich Text element?
H6 What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

H4 Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

H4 How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • List Item 1
  • List Item 2
  • List Item 3

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

77% of households in America are in debt. Nearly 40% of Americans don’t have the cash to cover a $400 emergency. And the average American has $5,525 in credit card debt. 

Do the stats look any different for Bible-believing Christians? Should they look different?

According to the Bible, God cares about our money–how we use it, how we think about it, and even how we make it. The Bible has over 2,000 scriptures that regard money, possessions, and tithing. And the apostle John taught that there is a specific link between how we think about money and possessions–”the world”–and how we think about God. 

If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. (1 John 2:15-17)

God cares about the space in our hearts occupied by money. Is money an idol for us? Do we control money, or does money control us?

In the following article, we’ll look at what the Bible has to say about money, and how we can respond as followers of Jesus. 

Culture & Money

Before diving into why God cares about money–and why He wants to influence your finances–let’s look at one of the biggest influences outside of your faith: your culture. 

A global culture of materialism. 

We don’t need an anthropologist to tell us that we live in a global culture that glorifies money and materialism. 

The average American owns 300,000 items. The rise of global consumption is wreaking havoc on the environment (There are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean). And people spend an enormous amount of money on non-necessities, despite the fact that basic needs are not being met ($11 billion is spent every year on ice cream in Europe; only $10 billion would be needed to provide clean drinking water for all people). 

Greed, however, is nothing new. 

When Jesus walked the Earth over 2,000 years ago, he famously drove merchants from the temple in Jerusalem. 

In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” (John 2:14-16)

Whether we’re selling cattle or credit card debt, humans have idolized money over God for all of history. 

Community, family of origin, and culture. 

Whether you’re a pastor, an accountant, a movie star, or a missionary, your culture influences the way you spend money, save money, and think about money. 

But culture isn’t only limited to what you see on your Instagram feed, on Netflix, or in Apple News. Culture is also a product of the way you were raised, who you spend time with, and where you live. 

When thinking about money, here are some individual cultural factors to consider:

  • Your family. The way you were raised and how you saw your parents spend money have a large impact on the way you’ll spend and save as an adult. Consider how your family treats the topics of debt, savings, giving, and shopping. 
  • Your community. If your friends spend lots of money on eating out, shopping, movies, and concerts, then you likely feel pressured to do the same. You may also live in a city that influences how you spend your money. Do people spend lots of time outdoors on free activities? Do they drive nice cars, or do they ride their bikes? Do they buy new clothing for every occasion?
  • Your personal habits. Finally, your personal habits, both conscious and unconscious, play a huge role in your finances. Whether you consider yourself frugal doesn’t matter if you eat out every day for lunch, or you spend your entire paycheck instead of saving and giving

When thinking about your relationship with God and your finances, don’t forget to examine the unconscious habits that form your perspective on money. 

7 Biblical Principles on Money 

Money is easy to idolize and prioritize because it’s a basic need. Money is easy to trust and easy to worship. In other words, money can take the place of God. 

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21). 

God cares about money because it can alter our affections and our love for Him. Money is not a neutral topic; that’s why we need guidelines and principles to help us use our finances in a way that glorifies God. 

Money isn’t evil. 

Money is morally neutral. The Bible says that the love of money is evil–not money itself.

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)

Though the desire for more money can lead people away from God, the Bible also describes financial wealth as a blessing.

The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it. (Proverbs 10:22)

When Jesus famously told the rich young ruler to sell everything he had, he wasn’t threated by his hefty bank account. But he did need the young man to fully surrender his love of money. 

Money isn’t evil, but it can take hold of our attention in a sinful way. 

The Bible discourages debt. 

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. (Romans 13:8)

For the Lord your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you. (Deuteronomy 15:6)

The Bible discourages us from entering into debt. According to Proverbs, debt is a form of slavery (Proverbs 22:7). Though there may be times when it’s difficult to avoid a form of debt–when paying for school or medical bills, for example–as followers of Christ, we’re admonished to avoid debt and instead live within our means. 

God calls us to be generous. 

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)

Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done. (Proverbs 19:17)

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)

According to the Bible, generosity brings reward. The old saying, “You reap what you sow” comes straight from Scripture. If you give to others, you can expect to receive reward. 

There is a caveat to the principle. Giving with a bad attitude doesn’t please the heart of God. Scripture says that “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). Nearly all of the most-read translations of this verse use the same word: cheerful. Giving is an act of joy, not obligation. 

Generosity doesn’t only apply to our finances. God also calls us to be open-handed with our possessions as well. In fact, according to 1 John 3:17, how we respond to material need is a measure of our love for God.

The Bible encourages us to save money. 

Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. (Proverbs 6:6-8)

This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways.  You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it." (Haggai 1:5-6)

When an ant becomes your financial role model, you know God is trying to humble you. 

Jokes aside, working hard and saving up is a wise way to live. Even without a leader or boss, the ant knows how to set aside resources for the future. Too often, people do the opposite. We live “hand to mouth,” spending what we make and finding ourselves short on savings when we need them. 

Likewise, the prophet Haggai calls his listeners to consider their habits carefully. We consume as soon as we receive, putting our income into a proverbial purse with holes. If we allow so-called lifestyle creep to consume our new wages, we will always find ourselves “without.” 

In fact, one poll found that the “top financial challenge” for income earners between $100k-$500k per year was that they weren’t able to save enough–despite being top earners. 

God cares about our diligence. 

The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. (Proverbs 21:5)

A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes the rich. He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame. (Proverbs 10:4-5)

Diligence is defined as “careful and persistent work or effort,” and it’s one of the most important skills we can cultivate. 

The Bible connects diligence directly with patiently saving. We  may be tempted to spend our money on things that bring us immediate gratification. But the Bible pointedly tells us that being “hasty comes only to poverty” (ouch!). The diligent person saves resources and works hard during seasons of “harvest.” This might mean studying hard in preparation for an exam; devoting more time to a business when sales are up; or diligently working year after year to put away savings. 

Wealth can come from God. 

Everything in heaven and earth is Yours, O LORD.  Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. (1 Chronicles 29:11–12:)

For the person who loves and obeys God, wealth is a blessing. 

When money is earned through greed and corruption, it ceases to be a blessing by turning the person even further away from holiness and truth. But when a godly person is blessed with material resources, wealth can be considered a gift from God. 

The Bible certainly doesn’t speak negatively about earning money; it only speaks negatively about the idolization of money. When our hearts are right before God, money is a blessing we can use to bless others. 

We’re called to be set apart. 

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 15:14-16)

As followers of Jesus, we’re called to be set apart from the world. 

That includes the way that we think about money. 

It may shock some people to learn that followers of Jesus tithe 10% or more of their income–for the average household in the United States, that amounts to around $5,000 every month

Followers of Jesus are called to use their money differently. God is our provider; the Holy Spirit, our guide; Jesus, our compass and model. That paradigm doesn’t just apply to making decisions like who to marry or what kind of job to take. It also applies to how we use our financial resources. 

Giving with Tithe.ly

Tithe.ly is a church giving platform that can help make generosity and giving simple for followers of Christ. It can also simplify finances for churches by generating easy-to-read reports and tax statements. To learn more about Tithe.ly, click here

podcast transcript

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H1 What’s a Rich Text element?

H2 What’s a Rich Text element?

H3 What’s a Rich Text element?

H4 What’s a Rich Text element?

H5 What’s a Rich Text element?
H6 What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

H4 Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

H4 How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • List Item 1
  • List Item 2
  • List Item 3

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

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Why God Cares About Money

Why God Cares About Money

77% of households in America are in debt. Nearly 40% of Americans don’t have the cash to cover a $400 emergency. And the average American has $5,525 in credit card debt.God cares about the space in our hearts occupied by money. Is money an idol for us? Do we control money, or does money control us? In the following article, we’ll look at what the Bible has to say about money, and how we can respond as followers of Jesus.

Show notes

77% of households in America are in debt. Nearly 40% of Americans don’t have the cash to cover a $400 emergency. And the average American has $5,525 in credit card debt. 

Do the stats look any different for Bible-believing Christians? Should they look different?

According to the Bible, God cares about our money–how we use it, how we think about it, and even how we make it. The Bible has over 2,000 scriptures that regard money, possessions, and tithing. And the apostle John taught that there is a specific link between how we think about money and possessions–”the world”–and how we think about God. 

If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. (1 John 2:15-17)

God cares about the space in our hearts occupied by money. Is money an idol for us? Do we control money, or does money control us?

In the following article, we’ll look at what the Bible has to say about money, and how we can respond as followers of Jesus. 

Culture & Money

Before diving into why God cares about money–and why He wants to influence your finances–let’s look at one of the biggest influences outside of your faith: your culture. 

A global culture of materialism. 

We don’t need an anthropologist to tell us that we live in a global culture that glorifies money and materialism. 

The average American owns 300,000 items. The rise of global consumption is wreaking havoc on the environment (There are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean). And people spend an enormous amount of money on non-necessities, despite the fact that basic needs are not being met ($11 billion is spent every year on ice cream in Europe; only $10 billion would be needed to provide clean drinking water for all people). 

Greed, however, is nothing new. 

When Jesus walked the Earth over 2,000 years ago, he famously drove merchants from the temple in Jerusalem. 

In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” (John 2:14-16)

Whether we’re selling cattle or credit card debt, humans have idolized money over God for all of history. 

Community, family of origin, and culture. 

Whether you’re a pastor, an accountant, a movie star, or a missionary, your culture influences the way you spend money, save money, and think about money. 

But culture isn’t only limited to what you see on your Instagram feed, on Netflix, or in Apple News. Culture is also a product of the way you were raised, who you spend time with, and where you live. 

When thinking about money, here are some individual cultural factors to consider:

  • Your family. The way you were raised and how you saw your parents spend money have a large impact on the way you’ll spend and save as an adult. Consider how your family treats the topics of debt, savings, giving, and shopping. 
  • Your community. If your friends spend lots of money on eating out, shopping, movies, and concerts, then you likely feel pressured to do the same. You may also live in a city that influences how you spend your money. Do people spend lots of time outdoors on free activities? Do they drive nice cars, or do they ride their bikes? Do they buy new clothing for every occasion?
  • Your personal habits. Finally, your personal habits, both conscious and unconscious, play a huge role in your finances. Whether you consider yourself frugal doesn’t matter if you eat out every day for lunch, or you spend your entire paycheck instead of saving and giving

When thinking about your relationship with God and your finances, don’t forget to examine the unconscious habits that form your perspective on money. 

7 Biblical Principles on Money 

Money is easy to idolize and prioritize because it’s a basic need. Money is easy to trust and easy to worship. In other words, money can take the place of God. 

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21). 

God cares about money because it can alter our affections and our love for Him. Money is not a neutral topic; that’s why we need guidelines and principles to help us use our finances in a way that glorifies God. 

Money isn’t evil. 

Money is morally neutral. The Bible says that the love of money is evil–not money itself.

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)

Though the desire for more money can lead people away from God, the Bible also describes financial wealth as a blessing.

The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it. (Proverbs 10:22)

When Jesus famously told the rich young ruler to sell everything he had, he wasn’t threated by his hefty bank account. But he did need the young man to fully surrender his love of money. 

Money isn’t evil, but it can take hold of our attention in a sinful way. 

The Bible discourages debt. 

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. (Romans 13:8)

For the Lord your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you. (Deuteronomy 15:6)

The Bible discourages us from entering into debt. According to Proverbs, debt is a form of slavery (Proverbs 22:7). Though there may be times when it’s difficult to avoid a form of debt–when paying for school or medical bills, for example–as followers of Christ, we’re admonished to avoid debt and instead live within our means. 

God calls us to be generous. 

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)

Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done. (Proverbs 19:17)

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)

According to the Bible, generosity brings reward. The old saying, “You reap what you sow” comes straight from Scripture. If you give to others, you can expect to receive reward. 

There is a caveat to the principle. Giving with a bad attitude doesn’t please the heart of God. Scripture says that “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). Nearly all of the most-read translations of this verse use the same word: cheerful. Giving is an act of joy, not obligation. 

Generosity doesn’t only apply to our finances. God also calls us to be open-handed with our possessions as well. In fact, according to 1 John 3:17, how we respond to material need is a measure of our love for God.

The Bible encourages us to save money. 

Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. (Proverbs 6:6-8)

This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways.  You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it." (Haggai 1:5-6)

When an ant becomes your financial role model, you know God is trying to humble you. 

Jokes aside, working hard and saving up is a wise way to live. Even without a leader or boss, the ant knows how to set aside resources for the future. Too often, people do the opposite. We live “hand to mouth,” spending what we make and finding ourselves short on savings when we need them. 

Likewise, the prophet Haggai calls his listeners to consider their habits carefully. We consume as soon as we receive, putting our income into a proverbial purse with holes. If we allow so-called lifestyle creep to consume our new wages, we will always find ourselves “without.” 

In fact, one poll found that the “top financial challenge” for income earners between $100k-$500k per year was that they weren’t able to save enough–despite being top earners. 

God cares about our diligence. 

The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. (Proverbs 21:5)

A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes the rich. He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame. (Proverbs 10:4-5)

Diligence is defined as “careful and persistent work or effort,” and it’s one of the most important skills we can cultivate. 

The Bible connects diligence directly with patiently saving. We  may be tempted to spend our money on things that bring us immediate gratification. But the Bible pointedly tells us that being “hasty comes only to poverty” (ouch!). The diligent person saves resources and works hard during seasons of “harvest.” This might mean studying hard in preparation for an exam; devoting more time to a business when sales are up; or diligently working year after year to put away savings. 

Wealth can come from God. 

Everything in heaven and earth is Yours, O LORD.  Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. (1 Chronicles 29:11–12:)

For the person who loves and obeys God, wealth is a blessing. 

When money is earned through greed and corruption, it ceases to be a blessing by turning the person even further away from holiness and truth. But when a godly person is blessed with material resources, wealth can be considered a gift from God. 

The Bible certainly doesn’t speak negatively about earning money; it only speaks negatively about the idolization of money. When our hearts are right before God, money is a blessing we can use to bless others. 

We’re called to be set apart. 

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 15:14-16)

As followers of Jesus, we’re called to be set apart from the world. 

That includes the way that we think about money. 

It may shock some people to learn that followers of Jesus tithe 10% or more of their income–for the average household in the United States, that amounts to around $5,000 every month

Followers of Jesus are called to use their money differently. God is our provider; the Holy Spirit, our guide; Jesus, our compass and model. That paradigm doesn’t just apply to making decisions like who to marry or what kind of job to take. It also applies to how we use our financial resources. 

Giving with Tithe.ly

Tithe.ly is a church giving platform that can help make generosity and giving simple for followers of Christ. It can also simplify finances for churches by generating easy-to-read reports and tax statements. To learn more about Tithe.ly, click here

video transcript

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