You’re reading a frugality blog right now, so you’ve probably heard of personal finance guru Dave Ramsey.
If you haven’t read any of his books (I highly recommend reading The Total Money Makeover), you might not know that Dave Ramsey’s seven step plan for financial freedom is based on biblical principles.
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Years ago, Dave Ramsey and his wife found themselves in a financial disaster. They were buried in debt and had filed bankruptcy.
He turned to the Bible and found answers about how to handle money God’s way.
After this, he created an extremely successful business teaching others about getting out of debt and achieving financial peace.
He has written a number of books about personal finance, he runs a popular radio show called the Dave Ramsey show, he teaches Financial Peace University, and he speaks at various events around the country.
So, what does the Bible say about money?
Here are a few key points about money from the Bible:
- Debt is always bad.
- Saving and planning ahead are crucial.
- Financial freedom requires hard work.
- Rest is important too.
- Be generous and giving instead of greedy. Contentment does not come from money.
- Always trust in God.
Debt is Always Bad
The Bible doesn’t have any nice words to say about debt. The verses about debt are quite clear.
Proverbs 22:7 The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.
Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not repay, but the righteous shows mercy and gives.
Romans 13:8 Let no debt remain outstanding except the continuing debt to love one another.
The Bible is blunt about debt. It does not differentiate between “good” debt and “bad” debt. Instead, it compares debt to a form of slavery.
Saving and Planning Ahead
The Bible emphasizes the importance of saving money and planning ahead multiple times throughout the text. Here are a few examples:
Proverbs 21:20 The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.
Proverbs 21:5 The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.
Proverbs 13:16 A wise man plans ahead; a fool doesn’t, and even brags about it!
Proverbs 14:29 He who is impulsive exalts folly.
Financial Freedom Requires Hard Work
The value of hard work is mentioned numerous times throughout the Bible. Here are a few verses:
Proverbs 10:4 Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.
Proverbs 13:4 A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.
Proverbs 14:23 All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.
Rest is Important
Hard work is crucial, but working TOO hard is not a good thing either. The Bible also describes the important of rest.
Psalm 127:2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves.
Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Don’t Be Greedy – Be Generous
The Bible warns against greed and encourages Christians to be generous and giving toward others. Contentment does not come from money – it comes from God.
Mark 8:36 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?
Luke 12:15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” …Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
Always Trust God
Having six figure student loan debt has created a lot of money-related anxiety for me, and I tend to worry about money a lot more than I should.
1 in 4 adults will experience clinical levels of anxiety at some point in their lives, so this is a very common issue.
Anxiety is something that I’ll always struggle with, but having faith in God has given me some peace. Being able to let go of control and trust in God is a very freeing feeling.
Related Resource: Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Contentment
Here are my favorite Bible verses about having faith in God and trusting in Him.
Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 6:25, 33 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Romans 8:32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
John 14:27 My peace I give unto you. I do not give as the world gives to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Are you interested in learning more about what the Bible says about money?
Here are some helpful resources:
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
Smart Money, Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze
The Bible Summary: Every Chapter in 140 Characters or Less by Chris Juby
The Holy Bible