Financial Security and Peace of Mind

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A popular magazine pointed out that some Hollywood celebrities, each earning more than $35 million per year, were deeply in debt. A newspaper article similarly reported that a popular musician had to drastically reorder his finances because his personal spending had grown to an average of some $400,000 per week.

At the same time, many nations are mired in serious financial trouble, carrying enormous deficits, in spite of their industrial, business and agricultural productivity and know-how.

Following these same patterns, personal bankruptcies are soaring upward, and many families owe so much money they have very little hope of getting out of debt.

It is ironic that our materialistic world, which prizes the acquisition of wealth over almost everything else, is so heavily burdened by it. It's not hard to see that something is fundamentally wrong and out of balance. Instead of being a blessing and source of stability and security, money has come to be a curse that often produces great stress and anxiety because people have not learned to properly use it.

Man's focus on materialism

We live in a world that does not seek the knowledge of its Creator—including His financial advice. Few people are aware that the Bible contains an amazing amount of information about how to accumulate and manage wealth. God wants us to be prosperous and happy (3 John 1:2 3 John 1:2Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.
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), and He offers guidance to make that possible.

Most people feel they are able on their own to handle their personal affairs, including monetary decisions and allocations. They don't realize they're making a grave mistake in this, unwittingly cutting themselves off from God's favor and guidance which would lead to the financial success they seek.

For example, contrary to human inclination, God tells us not to set a high priority on the accumulation of wealth and material goods. Instead, even though we have physical needs, He tells us that spiritual values and objectives are more important and lasting and that we need first to seek His Kingdom rather than the things of this world. If we do this, He promises to supply the physical necessities we require (Matthew 6:19-34 Matthew 6:19-34 [19] Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust does corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: [20] But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust does corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: [21] For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. [22] The light of the body is the eye: if therefore your eye be single, your whole body shall be full of light. [23] But if your eye be evil, your whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness! [24] No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. [25] Therefore I say to you, Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor yet for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? [26] Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they? [27] Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature? [28] And why take you thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: [29] And yet I say to you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. [30] Why, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? [31] Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? [32] (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. [33] But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. [34] Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof.
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).

However, because people are naturally inclined toward acquiring as much as possible for themselves, many find God's approach difficult to accept and pursue. But if we want to attain real financial stability and security—with peace of mind—we must recognize the importance of putting God first. After all, He is the primary source of our blessings. Covetousness, along with lack of discipline and self-control, is a root cause of much personal and national economic trouble (1 Timothy 6:10 1 Timothy 6:10For 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.
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).

God's Word sternly warns against covetousness. God's Tenth Commandment (Exodus 20:17 Exodus 20:17You shall not covet your neighbor's house, you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is your neighbor's.
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) forbids coveting—intensely or obsessively desiring something that we could not legitimately obtain or afford.

The prophet Jeremiah indicted the kingdom of Judah for its citizens' covetousness (Jeremiah 22:17 Jeremiah 22:17But your eyes and your heart are not but for your covetousness, and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence, to do it.
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). Jesus Christ warned of its dangers (Luke 12:15-34 Luke 12:15-34 [15] And he said to them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses. [16] And he spoke a parable to them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: [17] And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? [18] And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. [19] And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have much goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry. [20] But God said to him, You fool, this night your soul shall be required of you: then whose shall those things be, which you have provided? [21] So is he that lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. [22] And he said to his disciples, Therefore I say to you, Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat; neither for the body, what you shall put on. [23] The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. [24] Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them: how much more are you better than the fowls? [25] And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? [26] If you then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take you thought for the rest? [27] Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say to you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. [28] If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith? [29] And seek not you what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, neither be you of doubtful mind. [30] For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knows that you have need of these things. [31] But rather seek you the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added to you. [32] Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. [33] Sell that you have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that fails not, where no thief approaches, neither moth corrupts. [34] For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
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). Hebrews 13:5 Hebrews 13:5Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you.
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tells us, "Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have." Too many people fail to recognize the perils of yielding to their desires and cravings, especially when they are out of reach.

The source of all wealth

Many have forgotten—or never considered—that it is God who gives us power to obtain wealth. Although diligent effort is a necessary part of anyone's success, God reminds us that when we say in our hearts, "My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth," we need to "remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth" (Deuteronomy 8:17-18 Deuteronomy 8:17-18 [17] And you say in your heart, My power and the might of my hand has gotten me this wealth. [18] But you shall remember the LORD your God: for it is he that gives you power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
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).

As 1 Chronicles 29:11-12 1 Chronicles 29:11-12 [11] Yours, O LORD is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is yours; your is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. [12] Both riches and honor come of you, and you reign over all; and in your hand is power and might; and in your hand it is to make great, and to give strength to all.
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tells us: "Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; . . . Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all."

Psalms 24:1 Psalms 24:1The earth is the LORD's, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
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adds, "The earth is the LORD's, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein."

These verses give a critically important godly perspective that we need to consider. It is God who gives us our life and capacities and who has created the earth's raw materials from which commodities and wealth originate.

Acknowledging God for His blessings

Because God is the creator, life giver and sustainer of every living being, it follows that He has the prerogative to ask something in return from those who live as tenants on His property. Thousands of years ago He instituted the financial principle of tithing—giving 10 percent of one's increase to His representatives—as a way of acknowledging Him as the source of our blessings. Tithing also provides a means for allowing His truth to be shared with others.

Scripture shows us that the Old Testament patriarchs Abraham and Jacob tithed (Genesis 14:18-20 Genesis 14:18-20 [18] And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. [19] And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: [20] And blessed be the most high God, which has delivered your enemies into your hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
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; Genesis 28:22 Genesis 28:22And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that you shall give me I will surely give the tenth to you.
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). God commanded the entire nation of Israel to tithe (Leviticus 27:30 Leviticus 27:30And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD's: it is holy to the LORD.
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). Jesus Christ endorsed tithing (Matthew 23:23 Matthew 23:23Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought you to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
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; Luke 11:42 Luke 11:42But woe to you, Pharisees! for you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought you to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
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).

People who think tithing is a humanly contrived scheme to obtain wealth fail to see that this financial practice was ordained by God, not man, for a great spiritual purpose. They also fail to see that being willing to acknowledge and obey God in this matter is an important step toward attaining personal happiness and financial success.

God promises material blessings to those who obey Him and acknowledge Him with their wealth (Proverbs 3:1-10 Proverbs 3:1-10 [1] My son, forget not my law; but let your heart keep my commandments: [2] For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to you. [3] Let not mercy and truth forsake you: bind them about your neck; write them on the table of your heart: [4] So shall you find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man. [5] Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding. [6] In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths. [7] Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. [8] It shall be health to your navel, and marrow to your bones. [9] Honor the LORD with your substance, and with the first fruits of all your increase: [10] So shall your barns be filled with plenty, and your presses shall burst out with new wine.
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). Through the prophet Malachi, God warns that withholding His tithe amounts to robbing Him but says He will bless those who tithe (Malachi 3:7-12 Malachi 3:7-12 [7] Even from the days of your fathers you are gone away from my ordinances, and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, said the LORD of hosts. But you said, Wherein shall we return? [8] Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me. But you say, Wherein have we robbed you? In tithes and offerings. [9] You are cursed with a curse: for you have robbed me, even this whole nation. [10] Bring you all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house, and prove me now herewith, said the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. [11] And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, said the LORD of hosts. [12] And all nations shall call you blessed: for you shall be a delightsome land, said the LORD of hosts.
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).

God gives us "every good and perfect gift" (James 1:17 James 1:17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no ficklenss, neither shadow of turning.
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). Giving a 10th back to Him, along with offerings that express our gratitude, is a basic financial obligation. Putting God first in your financial planning shows you are getting your priorities straight and willing to follow God's instruction. The first 10th of our increase is holy to God (Leviticus 27:30 Leviticus 27:30And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD's: it is holy to the LORD.
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) and should be set aside for His purposes and desires rather than our own.

What is our highest priority?

Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 [1] I said in my heart, Go to now, I will prove you with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity. [2] I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What does it? [3] I sought in my heart to give myself to wine, yet acquainting my heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life. [4] I made me great works; I built me houses; I planted me vineyards: [5] I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits: [6] I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that brings forth trees: [7] I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me: [8] I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I got me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts. [9] So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. [10] And whatever my eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labor: and this was my portion of all my labor. [11] Then I looked on all the works that my hands had worked, and on the labor that I had labored to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.
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shows the futility of seeking worldly pleasure, wealth and materialism. In the end such pursuits are empty: "He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance with increase" (Ecclesiastes 5:10 Ecclesiastes 5:10He that loves silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loves abundance with increase: this is also vanity.
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).

This illustrates again the importance of putting the things of God and His Kingdom first because they alone give lasting satisfaction and fulfillment.

Jesus Christ tells us we cannot successfully focus on and place the correct emphasis on both God and "mammon"—material wealth (Matthew 6:24 Matthew 6:24No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
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). Therefore, the choice between the two is an important one.

To help us consider and evaluate these alternatives, Jesus contrasted the value of each. Earthly treasure is easily destroyed or stolen, He said, while heavenly riches are not vulnerable to loss or theft and are therefore more enduring and substantial (Matthew 6:19-20 Matthew 6:19-20 [19] Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust does corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: [20] But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust does corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
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).

Later He continued this theme by showing that being overly concerned with the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches can strangle the influence of God's Word, preventing spiritual growth and maturity (Matthew 13:22 Matthew 13:22He also that received seed among the thorns is he that hears the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
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).

In Matthew 19:16-26 Matthew 19:16-26 [16] And, behold, one came and said to him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? [17] And he said to him, Why call you me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments. [18] He said to him, Which? Jesus said, You shall do no murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, [19] Honor your father and your mother: and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. [20] The young man said to him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? [21] Jesus said to him, If you will be perfect, go and sell that you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. [22] But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. [23] Then said Jesus to his disciples, Truly I say to you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. [24] And again I say to you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. [25] When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? [26] But Jesus beheld them, and said to them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
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and Luke 12:13-34 Luke 12:13-34 [13] And one of the company said to him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. [14] And he said to him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? [15] And he said to them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses. [16] And he spoke a parable to them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: [17] And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? [18] And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. [19] And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have much goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry. [20] But God said to him, You fool, this night your soul shall be required of you: then whose shall those things be, which you have provided? [21] So is he that lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. [22] And he said to his disciples, Therefore I say to you, Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat; neither for the body, what you shall put on. [23] The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. [24] Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them: how much more are you better than the fowls? [25] And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? [26] If you then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take you thought for the rest? [27] Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say to you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. [28] If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith? [29] And seek not you what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, neither be you of doubtful mind. [30] For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knows that you have need of these things. [31] But rather seek you the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added to you. [32] Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. [33] Sell that you have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that fails not, where no thief approaches, neither moth corrupts. [34] For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
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He gives additional examples of the greater importance and value of setting our heart on spiritual priorities rather than material and earthly concerns.

Responsibilities toward others

God's Word offers many other financial principles and truths we should study and follow to gain wisdom and guidance from God's mind.

One sound bit of advice is to pay your taxes. Romans 13:1-7 Romans 13:1-7 [1] Let every soul be subject to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. [2] Whoever therefore resists the power, resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. [3] For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Will you then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and you shall have praise of the same: [4] For he is the minister of God to you for good. But if you do that which is evil, be afraid; for he bears not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath on him that does evil. [5] Why you must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. [6] For for this cause pay you tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually on this very thing. [7] Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.
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teaches we should comply with governmental tax requirements. Some wrongly think they are above and exempt from government authority, but this is not what the Bible teaches (except in cases where God's laws conflict with man's—see Acts 5:29 Acts 5:29Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
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).

Failure to pay taxes can result in severe penalties because it is against the law of the land. Jesus Himself told us to pay taxes but not neglect what we owe to God (Matthew 22:17-21 Matthew 22:17-21 [17] Tell us therefore, What think you? Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? [18] But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt you me, you hypocrites? [19] Show me the tribute money. And they brought to him a penny. [20] And he said to them, Whose is this image and superscription? [21] They say to him, Caesar's. Then said he to them, Render therefore to Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's.
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). We should pay first that which belongs to God as well as that which is required by the government.

The apostle Paul teaches that we should be willing and generous in contributing to the needs of others (2 Corinthians 9:6-15 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 [6] But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully. [7] Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver. [8] And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: [9] (As it is written, He has dispersed abroad; he has given to the poor: his righteousness remains for ever. [10] Now he that ministers seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) [11] Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causes through us thanksgiving to God. [12] For the administration of this service not only supplies the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings to God; [13] Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution to them, and to all men; [14] And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you. [15] Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.
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). He amplifies this by explaining that we should work so we "may have something to give him who has need" (Ephesians 4:28 Ephesians 4:28Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needs.
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).

A key to contentment

Paul's words bring into focus an unusual concept of the purpose of wealth. Most people view work and money as the necessary means of satisfying their personal needs and wants, which can often be selfishly oriented. But a righteous viewpoint embraces the spirit of God's law of love, which is concerned about the welfare of others in addition to oneself. We should keep this in mind when contemplating how to use money and other material wealth.

By examining the example and words of Paul, we see that he learned to be content with what he had during various periods of his life (Philippians 4:11 Philippians 4:11Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.
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). Sometimes this was almost nothing.

Paul tells us that "godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content" (1 Timothy 6:6-8 1 Timothy 6:6-8 [6] But godliness with contentment is great gain. [7] For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. [8] And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
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).

Considerable spiritual danger lies in wanting more and more. Paul recognized this: "But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life" (1 Timothy 6:9-11 1 Timothy 6:9-11 [9] But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. [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. [11] But you, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
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).

Because of constant pressure to buy and satisfy our every urge, such contentment and focus is difficult for us to achieve. But the closer we come to contentment, the better off we will be. We need to learn to focus on our genuine needs rather than the frivolous things advertisers have convinced us we need.

Taking personal responsibility

Paul encouraged Christians to work hard, mind their own business and be self-sufficient (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 [11] And that you study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; [12] That you may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that you may have lack of nothing.
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). He set an example of carrying our own load and not taking advantage of others (2 Thessalonians 3:7-13 2 Thessalonians 3:7-13 [7] For yourselves know how you ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; [8] Neither did we eat any man's bread for nothing; but worked with labor and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: [9] Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample to you to follow us. [10] For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. [11] For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. [12] Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. [13] But you, brothers, be not weary in well doing.
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).

In line with this, he instructed that families should take care of their own households and elderly relatives (1 Timothy 5:8 1 Timothy 5:8But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
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) and share their material blessings with those less fortunate (1 Timothy 6:17-19 1 Timothy 6:17-19 [17] Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy; [18] That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; [19] Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
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).

Because God will judge each of us for what we do in this life (2 Timothy 4:1 2 Timothy 4:1I charge you therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
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; 1 Peter 4:17 1 Peter 4:17For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
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), we need to set our hearts on God's instruction and do good whenever we can. None of us knows what tomorrow will bring, so we must learn to apply now the principles and teaching here (James 4:13-17 James 4:13-17 [13] Go to now, you that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: [14] Whereas you know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away. [15] For that you ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. [16] But now you rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. [17] Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin.
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; James 5:1-5 James 5:1-5 [1] Go to now, you rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come on you. [2] Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. [3] Your gold and silver is corroded; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. You have heaped treasure together for the last days. [4] Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, cries: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. [5] You have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; you have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
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).

Some final thoughts

As we have seen, money can be used for either right or wrong purposes. The challenge we face is learning to put first things first and practice the financial principles that are pleasing to God.

Although it is wise to set up a personal savings account as a buffer against the uncertainties of the future (experts suggest putting aside as much as the equivalent of six months' income before investing in other ventures), we should not become so self-focused and greedy that we lose sight of our important financial responsibilities toward God and the needy.

Also, we must never forget that it is much easier to get into debt than to get out of it. Being in debt, especially for depreciating goods purchased at a high interest rate, makes us vulnerable when troubles come. Paying as we go, as much as we are able, is a much safer and sounder way to live.

What about buying a house? In contrast to most forms of indebtedness, buying a house is generally a good investment because of its tax benefits and tendency to hold or even increase its value. But it is a huge commitment and something each household should carefully evaluate
on the basis of its individual circumstances.

This view of the Bible's financial instruction will help provide the knowledge and balance to manage your income in a way that honors God and benefits yourself and mankind. (For a more in-depth view of the Bible's instruction on wealth and finances, be sure to read the booklet Managing Your Finances.