BIBLICAL FINANCIAL PRINCIPLES
FOUNDATION OF THE GOOD $ENSE MINISTRY
Cultivate a steward’s mindset.
GOD CREATED EVERYTHING
In the beginning there was nothing, and God created (Genesis
GOD OWNS EVERYTHING
“‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LORD
Almighty” (Haggai 2:8). “Every animal of the forest is mine, and
the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10). “The earth and the
fullness thereof belong to the Lord and all those who live within”
(Psalm 37:21 KJV).
Flowing out of the fact that God created and owns everything is
the logical conclusion that whatever we possess is not really
ours, but belongs to God; we are simply entrusted with our
possessions. Therefore, we are trustees, not owners. Although
1 Corinthians 4 (quoted below) does not directly refer to
material possessions, its counsel is applicable to this aspect of
life as well.
WE ARE TRUSTEES
“A person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful”
(1 Corinthians 4:1–2 NLT).
WE CAN’T SERVE TWO MASTERS
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love
the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.You
cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24 NLT).
USE RESOURCES WISELY
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You
have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of
many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’”
PURSUE BIBLICAL, FINANCIAL KNOWLEDGE
“Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and
understanding” (Proverbs 23:23). “Plans fail for lack of counsel,
but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22).
MEASURABLE GOALS AND REALISTIC PLANS
“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will
succeed” (Proverbs 16:3).
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with
much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be
dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in
handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?
And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s
property, who will give you property of your own?” (Luke
The Diligent Earner—One who produces with diligence and
purpose and is content and grateful for what he or she has.
God established work while Adam and Eve were yet in the
Garden of Eden. God invited them to join him in the ongoing act
of caring for creation.Work before the fall of Adam and Eve is a
blessing, not a curse. All work has dignity. Our work should be
characterized by the following principles.
BE DILIGENT; SERVE GOD
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for
the Lord” (Colossians 3:23).
PROVIDE FOR OURSELVES
AND THOSE DEPENDENT ON US
“Those who won’t care for their own relatives, especially those
living in the same household, have denied what we believe.
Such people are worse than unbelievers” (1 Timothy 5:8 NLT).
BE GRATEFUL; REMEMBER FROM WHOM
INCOME REALLY COMES
“Remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the
ability to produce wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:18).
ENJOY YOUR WORK; BE CONTENT IN IT
“It is good for people to eat well, drink a good glass of wine,
and enjoy their work—whatever they do under the sun—for
however long God lets them live. And it is a good thing to
receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To
enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—that is indeed a gift
from God” (Ecclesiastes 5:18-19 NLT).
BE TRANSFORMED WORKERS
“Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and
with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey
them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but
like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart”
EARN POTENTIAL, SHARE EXCESS
“If you are a thief, stop stealing. Begin using your hands for
honest work, and then give generously to others in need”
(Ephesians 4:28 NLT).
The Generous Giver—One who gives with an obedient will,
a joyful attitude, and a compassionate heart.
WE ARE MADE TO GIVE
We are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). God is
gracious and generous.We will lead a more satisfied and
fulfilled life when we give to others.
GIVE AS A RESPONSE TO GOD’S GOODNESS
“Every good and perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17).
Therefore, we give out of gratefulness for what we have
GIVE TO FOCUS ON GOD AS OUR SOURCE AND
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these
things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).
GIVE TO HELP ACHIEVE ECONOMIC JUSTICE
“Our desire . . . is that there might be equality. At the present
time your plenty will supply what they need” (2 Corinthians
8:13-14). Throughout Scripture, God expresses his concern for
the poor and calls us to share with those less fortunate.
GIVE TO BLESS OTHERS
“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will
make your name great, and you will be a blessing. And I will
bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a
blessing” (Genesis 12:2-3). If we are blessed with resources
beyond our needs, it is not for the purpose of living more
lavishly but to bless others.We are blessed to be a blessing.
BE WILLING TO SHARE
“Command them [the rich] to do good, to be rich in good deeds,
and to be generous and willing to share” (I Timothy 6:18).
GIVE TO BREAK THE HOLD OF MONEY
Another reason to give is that doing so breaks the hold that
money might otherwise have on us. While the Bible doesn’t
specifically say so, it is evident that persons who give freely and
generously are not controlled by money but have freedom.
GIVE JOYFULLY, GENEROUSLY, IN A TIMELY MANNER
“Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their
extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that
they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their
ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for
the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints”
(2 Corinthians 8:1-5).
“We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this
liberal gift” (2 Corinthians 8:20).
GIVE EXPECTANTLY AND CHEERFULLY
“The one who plants generously will get a generous crop.You
must each make up your own mind as to how much you should
give. Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God
loves the person who gives cheerfully” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7 NLT;
see also verses 10-14).
MOTIVES FOR GIVING ARE IMPORTANT
Unless our motives are right, we can give all we have—even
our bodies as sacrifices—and it will be for naught (I Corinthians13).
We can be scrupulous with tithing and still not have
the right motives. Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of his day
for this very thing: “ You hypocrites! You give a tenth of your
spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the
more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and
faithfulness” (Matthew 23:23).
The Wise Saver—One who builds, preserves, and invests
IT IS WISE TO SAVE
“In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but
[the] foolish . . . devour all [they have]” (Proverbs 21:20). “Go to
the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no
commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in
summer and gathers it food at harvest” (Proverbs 6:8).
IT IS SINFUL TO HOARD
And he gave them an illustration: “A rich man had a fertile farm
that produced fine crops. In fact, his barns were full to
overflowing. So he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and
build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store
everything. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, My friend, you
have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy!
Eat, drink, and be merry!’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! You
will die this very night. Then who will get it all?’Yes, a person is
a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship
with God” (Luke 12:16-21 NLT).
CALCULATE COST; PRIORITIZE
“But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin
construction of a building without first getting estimates and
then checking to see if there is enough money to pay the bills?
Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before
running out of funds. And then how everyone would laugh at
you! They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that
building and ran out of money before it was finished!’” (Luke
AVOID GET-RICH-QUICK SCHEMES
“The trustworthy will get a rich reward. But the person who
wants to get rich quick will only get into trouble” (Proverbs 28:20
SEEK WISE COUNSELORS
“Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the
discerning get guidance” (Proverbs 1:5).
ESTABLISH A JOB BEFORE BUYING HOME
“Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that,
build your house” (Proverbs 24:27).
DIVERSIFY YOUR HOLDINGS
“Give portions to seven, yes to eight, for you do not know what
disaster will come upon the land” (Ecclesiastes 11:2).
The Cautious Debtor—One who avoids entering into debt, is
careful and strategic when incurring debt,
and always repays debt.
REPAY DEBT AND DO SO PROMPTLY
“The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give
generously” (Psalm 37:21). “ Do not say to your neighbor,
‘Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow’—when you now have it
with you” (Proverbs 3:28).
AVOID THE BONDAGE OF DEBT
“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the
lender” (Proverbs 22:7).
DEBT PRESUMES ON THE FUTURE
“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this
or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make
money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.
What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while
and then vanishes” (James 4:13–14).
DEBT CAN DENY GOD THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK IN
OUR LIVES AND TEACH US VALUABLE LESSONS
God may wish to show us his love by providing us with
something we desire but for which we have no resources. If we
go into debt to get it anyway, we deny him that opportunity (see
Luke 12:22–32). In the same way that parents refrain from
giving a child everything the child wants because parents know
it isn’t in the child’s best interest, incurring debt can rob God of
the opportunity to teach us through denial. Ecclesiastes 7:14
reminds us: “When times are good, be happy; but when times
are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other.”
DEBT CAN FOSTER ENVY AND GREED
“Beware! Don’t be greedy for what you don’t have. Real life is
not measured by how much we own” (Luke 12:15).
GIVE AND PAY WHAT YOU OWE
“Give everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and import
duties, and give respect and honor to all to whom it is due”
(Romans 13:7 NLT).
“Do not co-sign another person’s note or put up a guarantee for
someone else’s loan. If you can’t pay it, even your bed will be
snatched from under you” (Proverbs 22:26–27 NLT).
DEBT CAN DISRUPT SPIRITUAL GROWTH
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against
such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
The Prudent Consumer—One who enjoys
the fruits of their labor yet guards against materialism.
BEWARE OF IDOLS
“You shall not make yourself an idol in the form of anything in
heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below”
(Deuteronomy 5:8). Materialism—which so saturates our
culture—is nothing less than a competing theology in which
matter (things) is of ultimate significance; that is, things become
gods or idols. “ They . . . worshipped and served created things
rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25).
GUARD AGAINST GREED;
THINGS DO NOT BRING HAPPINESS
“Beware! Don’t be greedy for what you don’t have. Real life is
not measured by how much we own” (Luke 12:15).
“Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily
bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and
say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so
dishonor the name of my God” (Proverbs 30:8-9).
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have
plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and
every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in
plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives
me strength” (Philippians 4:12–13).
“Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought
nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if
we have food and clothing, we will be content with that”
(1 Timothy 6:6–8).
DON’T WASTE GOD’S RESOURCES
“When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples,
‘Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted’”
ENJOY A PORTION OF GOD’S PROVISION
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be
arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain,
but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with
everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to
be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.
In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm
foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the
life that is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:17–19).
WATCH YOUR FINANCES (BUDGET)
“Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful
attention to your herds; for riches do not endure forever, and a
crown is not secure for all generations” (Proverbs 27:23–24