When we mention “Christians” and “money” in the same breath, we can sometimes get confused and make incorrect assumptions. The world loves wealth, and it’s often what motivates people. Being born again sets us apart from the rest of the world, but many people assume that being a Christian automatically means being poor. This is a misunderstanding about wealth that even believers have bought into, but studying the Scriptures proves otherwise.
It’s entirely possible to have money and lead a godly lifestyle; these concepts are not mutually exclusive. There’s nothing wrong with having money, as long as it doesn’t have us. The rich young ruler with whom Jesus had a conversation loved money so much that he couldn’t—or wouldn’t—relax his grip on it. We’re warned against having an unhealthy relationship with it. “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:10).
The world doesn’t understand how Christians handle their money, or how they make it grow. Giving and tithing play a large part in Christian money-management; we’re able to give when we trust what God says: “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38). Financial blessings come from God, not from the power of our own hands. “But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day” (Deuteronomy 8:18). This is the opposite of worldly, conventional “wisdom.”
When we trust God more than money, He can get involved in everything that concerns us, including our finances. “I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice, bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me and making their treasuries full” (Proverbs 8:20, 21, NIV). Some Christians compartmentalize Christ, allowing Him access to every part of their lives except their financial lives. He knows our financial needs, and He promises to bless us where we need blessings. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
We must view our giving as a gain, not a loss. When we bless others generously, those blessings return to us in abundance. “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10). Under the law, the people were required to give ten percent as a tithe. However, we’re under grace, so we no longer have to limit ourselves to the law; we’re now free to give as much as the Holy Spirit leads us to give.
Being motivated by love for others positions us to receive great blessings on every level. We can have confidence in God’s Word on this. “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God” (2 Corinthians 9:11, NIV). As believers, we can demonstrate to others that true wealth extends far beyond just money.