Money is a very common topic spoken about on many platforms both in the body of Christ and in secular forums, there are countless books written on the subject matter with quotes such as “Money makes the world go round” and “Money is a terrible master but an excellent servant” you name it, it is out there. There is great advise from well-meaning men and women who provide guidance on how to make money and there is equally misleading information that once followed is able to trap a person in perpetual disaster.
With all this body of knowledge, it is imperative to obtain the right understanding and to obtain it fast in order for us to avoid the pitfalls that many have made. A Wiseman once said the mishandling of money is one area that shows immediately in the life of a believer, therefore we need to be prudent in how we handle this commodity.
Look at how God dealt with a situation of mismanagement in this area in the parable of the talents found in Matthew 25:14 – 28. The person who mishandled the master’s money and administered the monetary affairs carelessly ended up losing the money he received and the servant who managed the money excellently was given more.
Matthew 25: 14-28 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants[a] and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents."
This should make us think carefully and lead us to introspect our lives in terms of stewardship, we need to ask the very important questions – Am I a good steward of money? Am I asking God to give me billions when I cannot steward the current finances that he has given me? Are we in fact saying to God - "I am careless Lord, but I still want you to give me more?" We need to be truly honest with ourselves. Is God going to give this money to us when we are not prudent in our dealings and making the right decisions in this area?
With the above being said let us look at 7 keys that are critical for us to understand so that we can walk circumspectly in this area. The Bible is filled with insight around this, scripture speaks of King Solomon who was the richest man that ever lived and he gave us keys that we can practically implement in our lives when dealing with money.
1. Be careful not to fall trap in greed
Proverbs 1:19, NLT: "Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money; it robs them of life." Proverbs 15:27 "He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house, But he who hates bribes will live." Firstly we need to be careful not to be lured by greed because once we find ourselves in that territory the lines become blurred on how we can make more money in an honest way and we find ourselves at risk of tapping into unscriptural avenues to gain money.
2. Reduce debt
Proverbs 22:7 "The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender." Proverbs 22:26 – 27 "Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts; if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you." Nowhere in scripture do we read that debt is good, and yes I am aware that there are advisors that would mention there is certain debt that is good however according to scripture we are yet to find advise that this is a good way of handling money. The Bible is specific to say Debt = slavery. Until you are debt-free, you will be enslaved to your past mistakes. You can move forward in God's grace, but the consequences of your actions will follow you until the debts are paid in full.
3. Get wise counsel around you
Proverbs 15:22 "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed." Proverbs 20:21 "Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise." Proverbs 11:14 "For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers." We all know the saying “two heads are better than one” and in monetary affairs, it is equally important to surround yourself with wise counsel, people that are trustworthy that you have seen show diligence in this area. I would advise staying away from get rich quick scheme advisors, God is not a God that works in such avenues, he is a God that is concerned about your character-building first – He won’t be a good father if he gives you a Ferrari first without ensuring that you are a capable driver. Please do not get me wrong by thinking I am saying God cannot bless you instantly, He certainly can however from the efficacy of scripture we see a different understanding Proverbs 13:11 says “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it."
4. Hard work is important
Proverbs 12:24 "Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor." Proverbs 10:4-5 "Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth." Proverbs 28:19-20 "A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies ends up in poverty." I am yet to see anyone who reaps abundantly but does not put in the work; this however does not mean overwork yourself until you are affecting your health and mental wellness. What we need to keep in mind is that your diligence will bring you a reward.
5. Take steps into opportunities provided to you by God
Ecclesiastes 11:4"He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap." I’ve seen many people receive opportunities, but eventually do not step into them because of the fear of risk. We need to understand that there will always be risks in whatever opportunity we venture into, but those risks should not cause you never to do anything. With wise counsel, you should be able to at least step out bravely into what God has brought before you and shun the fear of failure, and besides failure is not the opposite of success it's part of success.
Failure is not the opposite of success it's part of success.
6. Have multiple streams of income
Ecclesiastes 11:2 "Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land." Do not put all your eggs in one basket, remember that saying? It is not wise to rely on one income, many of us are still in this lane, and we are looking for ways and means of venturing into more ways to make money. May the Lord open your eyes to see opportunities where you can put your hand to and find success in it.
7. Be a giver
Proverbs 11:25 "A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed." Proverbs 21:26 "The righteous give without sparing." Lastly, be a giver, be a giver, be a giver I cannot stress this point further. Our father is a giver he gave Jesus for us, scripture further says blessed is the hand that gives. To the world this concept does not make sense, because to the natural eye it seems like you are losing items/money by giving it away; however, this action in the realm of the spirit is captured differently - you are in fact making a deposit into your spiritual bank account which will yield interest for you and subsequently manifest in the natural realm.
I will close with this word of wisdom from John Kani in reference to the aforementioned about giving for those that tend to hold back on giving. “Once I saw my father give money to a person begging in the street & I said "why give money to this person when we both know he will use it to buy alcohol”, my father said "the act of kindness is in the giving, not what happens to the gift" - John Kani
Shalom Kay King