At this Christmas time thoughts turn to Baby Jesus and, perhaps, to the Bible. The Bible has a lot of relevant things to say about money and financial principles.
By someone’s count there are over 2,000 money related verses in the Bible. Not all of those verses are specific to “financial planning” but the verses that relate to financial planning make clear that, when you get down to basics, ancient principles still apply today and are just as wise now as they were then. It is, in a sense, “ancient wisdom” that is applicable today.
You’ve heard of the “wisdom of Solomon”? Well it’s found in the Bible, mainly in the book of Proverbs, most of which was written by Solomon or attributed to him.
The borrower is slave to the lender. (Prov. 22: 7) Do not put up security for someone else’s debt (don’t co-sign). (Prov. 22: 26) The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets. (Prov. 21:20, LB). Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time. (Prov. 13: 11, NLT)
There are Bible verses about budgeting, debt, contentment, borrowing, giving, greed, saving and investing. All of these play an important part in our daily lives. Financial planning is not rocket science. There are basic, unchanging principles that apply regardless of our individual situations. For our purposes a principle is “a fundamental or general law or truth from which others are derived.” Principles don’t change. The decisions we make based on the principles determine our success. Ignoring the principle of gravity can cause pain. If you ignore basic financial principles you risk hurting yourself and your family.
Borrowing what you cannot repay or taking on debt you cannot service, results in negative consequences. If you co-sign for someone and they get into a financial bind, you are going to suffer because you are on the hook also. If you don’t set any money aside as you go along, you will not have anything to fall back on in an emergency or when times are tough.
The point is that good principles should be our foundation in all areas of life. This is tremendously important for our financial lives because so much of what we do in life, or want to do in life, has some type of financial component. And money affects our interactions with people, positively and negatively. That is true inside and outside our families. Money is not the most important thing in life. People are.
As you prepare to close out the old year and head into the new year make some time (who has time, right) to consider whether the principles on which your financial life rests are solid or shaky. Do you need to get back to basics? As you think about changes or improvements that are needed in your life consider the financial side of things also. Maybe even make some resolutions to do some things differently – then keep those resolutions.
I wish you and yours a safe and wonderful Christmas season and a halcyon New Year!
Here’s a link to the a document containing over 2,000 money related verses in the Bible – https://www.crownmoneymap.org/MoneyMap/SmallGroup/Downloads/2300ScriptureReferences_6_08.pdf