A Theology of Money
Kevin DeYoung has recently posted a brief blog on a theology of money. It’s short and insightful. Following the lead of Proverbs, he lists 10 things the book says about money and possessions. Here are his findings:
- There are extremes of wealth and poverty that provide unique temptations to those who live in them (Prov. 30:7-9).
- Don’t worry about keeping up with the Jones’ (Prov. 12:9; 13:7).
- The rich and poor are more alike than they think (Prov. 22:2; 29:13).
- You can’t out give God (Prov. 3:9-10; 11:24; 22:9).
- Poverty is not pretty (Prov. 10:15; 14:20; 19:4).
- Money cannot give you ultimate security (Prov. 11:7; 11:28; 13:8).
- The Lord hates those who get rich by injustice (Prov. 21:6; 22:16, 22-23).
- The Lord loves those who are generous to the poor (Prov. 14:21, 31; 19:7; 28:21)
- Hard work and good decision-making usually lead to increased prosperity (Prov. 6:6-11;10:4; 13:11; 14:24; 21:17, 20; 22:4, 13; 27:23-27; 28:20
- Money isn’t everything. It does not satisfy (Prov. 23:4-5). It is inferior to wisdom (Prov. 8:10-11, 18-19; 24:3-4). It is inferior to righteousness (10:2; 11:4; 13:25; 16:8; 19:22; 20:17; 28:6). It is inferior to the fear of the Lord (Prov. 15:16). It is inferior to humility (Prov. 16:19). It is inferior to good relationships (Prov. 15:17; 17:1).
His conclusions are balanced and biblical:
You can’t understand the biblical view of money unless you are prepared to accept a number of truths held in tension.
- You’ll probably acquire more money if you work hard and are full of wisdom. But if all you care about is getting more money, you are the biggest fool.
- Money is a blessing from God, but you’ll be more blessed if you give it away.
- God gives you money because he is generous, but he is generous with you so that you can be generous with others. And if you are generous with your money, God will likely be more generous with you.
- It is wise to save money, but don’t ever think money gives you real security.
- Wealth is more desirable than poverty, but wealth is not as good as righteousness, humility, wisdom, good relationships, and the fear of the Lord.