Bible lessons about money

Bible lessons about money

Bible lessons about money, Personal finance is a very popular topic in our current world, presently there are numerous teachers about managing money in Kenya.

Personal finance books are hot sellers in Kenya today. Bestsellers include such well-known titles as Robert T. Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover are almost a must-read for anyone interested in understanding what the bible has to say about money.

However, there’s one book that’s more popular than any of these and it offers unprecedented advice about money, it is the Bible.

Of course, most people don’t think of the Good Old Book as a personal finance guide. To some, it’s the literal Word of God; to others, it’s a beautiful work of literature; still others view it as a historical text that’s had a profound influence on our society but has little to do with money.

Numerous stories and sayings from the Bible, written thousands of years ago, illustrate basic financial concepts that are as relevant as ever to any Kenyan interested in having a biblical understanding of money.

Bible lessons about money

Proverbs 24:27 – Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.

This piece of advice from Proverbs seems a little surprising at first. To a modern reader, it’s not clear why planting the field should be a higher priority than building the house, since both appear to be necessities of life rather than luxuries.

However, if you think about it, the answer to the question becomes obvious: Your “field” isn’t just something you need for survival – it’s actually a means of survival.

If you’re a farmer, your crops are your source of livelihood. If your field isn’t properly planted and prepared, you won’t have the money you need to build a house or provide for any of your other needs.

Today, few people rely on actual fields for their income. However, we all have certain basic needs that we have to meet in order to survive.

And to meet those needs, most of us need some form of gainful employment. What good is a house if you don’t have the means to put food on the table, or pay the rent or mortgage?

So in modern terms, this proverb means that you need to set priorities with your money. Make sure you save enough to cover the essentials.

What you need to keep yourself alive and able to work before spending money on creature comforts. In other words, set aside money to pay all the bills before you spend any on new clothes.

2. Make a Budget

Luke 14:28-30 – Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, “This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.”

This Biblical saying is about budgeting. You know you need to cover the cost of necessities first but those costs don’t always come up right away, so you need to plan for them or make a budget.

Some major expenses, such as rent payments, only come due once per month. Others, like home insurance premiums, only come due once annually. Planning ahead and saving for those intermittent (but known) expenses is a key component of budgeting.

3. Build an Emergency Fund

Genesis 41:34-36 – Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance.

They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food.

This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine.

In this passage from Genesis, Joseph interprets a dream the Pharaoh has had about seven fat cows grazing by a river that gets swallowed up by seven skinny cows.

Joseph concludes that the seven fat cows in the dream represent seven years of prosperity for Egypt, which will be followed by seven years of famine.

To plan ahead for this disaster, Joseph advises the Pharaoh to store up grain during the seven good years and use that stored grain to get the country through the seven hard years to follow.

4. Avoid Debt

Proverbs 22:7 – The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.

This proverb takes no skill to interpret. It describes debt as a kind of slavery and citizens in many parts of the world tend to agree with this wisdom.

All that debt takes a toll on those who carry it, both mentally and physically. Well documented research now shows that high levels of debt are associated with anxiety, depression, and relationship problems.

Debt can also be linked to high blood pressure, lowered immunity, and a host of physical symptoms, including headaches, back pain, and ulcers.

5. Diversify Your Investments

Ecclesiastes 11:2 – Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.

This line from Ecclesiastes is a short, clear explanation of why it makes sense to diversify your investments.

Nearly any type of investment can fall victim to “evil” of some sort, whether it’s a plague of locusts that wipes out a grain crop, or a market crash that reduces the value of stocks or real estate.

So it makes sense to put money into many different types of investments so that a single disaster can’t cost you everything you have.

Old-time wisdom was that, if you divided up your cargo among seven or eight ships, all headed along different routes, the chances that all of them would sink would be very low. So even if you lost one or two ships, you could still hope to earn enough from the others to make a profit.

Admittedly, there are some who argue that diversification is a myth. Their claim is that you can earn a much better return by putting all your eggs in one basket as long as it’s the right basket.

7. Make a Financial Plan

Proverbs 21:5 the plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.

This final rule from Proverbs more or less sums up all the others. Budgeting, planning for retirement, saving for emergencies – they’re all different ways of being diligent by planning ahead.

Making a financial plan is a three-step process:

  1. Identify Your Goals. It’s much easier to convince yourself to save and invest when you have a clear sense of what you’re saving for.
  2. Evaluate Your Situation. Next, figure out what your current financial situation is. This is a step you can take on your own or with help from an accountant or financial advisor.
  3. List Steps to Take. Now that you know both where you are and where you want to go, all you have to do is figure out what steps you need to take to get from point A to point B.

Without a financial plan, it’s easy to drift through life, earning and spending money with no real thought for the future. Writing out a financial plan, and checking it every few months to see whether you’re on track, helps ensure that you know what you want out of life and are on a path to get it.

Bible lessons about money

Bible lessons about money

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