“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” These words from Matthew 6:21 are a reminder of the importance of values-aligned Christian financial stewardship. At OneAscent, we believe Biblical budgeting is essential to this stewardship. So let’s explore some Biblical budgeting principles that can help guide our financial decisions and bring us closer to God.
Everything you have is a gift from God.
Psalm 24:1 states, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” This means that our money, possessions, and even our abilities are not truly ours, but rather they are entrusted to us by God. When we approach our finances with this perspective, it changes how we view money. We see it as a tool to be used for God’s purposes rather than something to accumulate for our gain.
Proverbs 3:9-10 says, “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” This verse emphasizes the importance of giving back to God before anything else. When we give the first portion of our income to God, we demonstrate our trust in Him to provide for our needs. This act of generosity also aligns our values with God’s, and it helps us to prioritize His Kingdom over our desires.
Live within your means.
Proverbs 21:20 advises, “The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.” In other words, it is wise to plan for the future and save money rather than spend everything we have in the present. Living within our means allows us to avoid debt and financial stress, which can distract us from God’s purposes. It also enables us to be more generous with our resources, as excessive expenses do not tie us down.
Avoid greed and materialism.
Jesus warns us in Luke 12:15, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” Greed and materialism can quickly become idols, distracting us from the true Source of joy and fulfillment. By focusing on God’s priorities and giving generously, we can avoid the temptation to accumulate possessions and find contentment in His provision.
Seek wise counsel.
Proverbs 15:22 states, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors, they succeed.” Therefore, seeking counsel from trusted advisors, such as financial planners, is essential when making financial decisions. By seeking wise counsel, we can avoid making impulsive or unwise decisions that may harm our financial well-being or relationship with God.
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Be content with what you have.
Hebrews 13:5 says, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'” When we focus on what we lack, we can easily become discontent and envious of others. However, when we focus on God’s provision and trust in His faithfulness, we can find contentment and joy in what we already have.
Be diligent in your work.
Proverbs 10:4 says, “Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.” Therefore, God calls us to work diligently and with excellence, using our abilities to serve Him and others. By doing so, we can earn a living and provide for our families while also honoring God with our work.
Plan for the future.
Proverbs 21:5 advises, “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” Planning for the future involves setting financial goals, creating a budget, and saving for emergencies and long-term expenses. By planning ahead, we can confidently avoid financial stress and prepare for the future.
Be generous to those in need.
Proverbs 19:17 says, “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.” God calls us to care for those in need through financial giving, volunteer work, or acts of service. Being generous to others reflects God’s character and demonstrates His love for the world.
Avoid unnecessary debt.
Proverbs 22:7 warns, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is a slave to the lender.” Debt can quickly become a burden that enslaves us and hinders our ability to serve God and others. While some forms of debt may be unavoidable, such as a mortgage or student loans, it is essential to avoid unnecessary debt and to pay off existing debt as soon as possible.
Seek contentment in God, not material possessions.
1 Timothy 6:6-8 says, “But 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.” Contentment in God is a powerful antidote to the constant craving for more that can drive us to accumulate possessions and wealth. When we seek contentment in God, we are freed from the bondage of materialism and can experience true joy and fulfillment.
Honor God with your financial decisions.
Proverbs 3:6 advises, “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” When we prioritize God’s Kingdom in our finances, we honor Him and demonstrate trust in His provision. By seeking His guidance and following His principles, we can make wise financial decisions that align with His purposes.
In conclusion, Biblical budgeting principles provide a framework for aligning our finances with God’s priorities. By recognizing that all we have is a gift from God, prioritizing giving, living within our means, avoiding greed and materialism, seeking wise counsel, being content with what we have, being diligent in our work, planning for the future, being generous to those in need, avoiding unnecessary debt, seeking contentment in God, and honoring God with our financial decisions, we can become faithful stewards of His resources.
At OneAscent, we believe that Christian financial stewardship is a critical component of a life devoted to God. By integrating these Biblical budgeting principles into our lives, we can bring glory to God and be a part of advancing His Kingdom in the world. Interested in working with an advisor to help you align your budget with God’s priorities? Contact us today.