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What Does God Want Us To Do With Our Wealth?
By Keith Rawlinson
Volunteer Budget Counselor

God wants us to:

Acknowledge and praise Him for our wealth.

We are to realize and acknowledge that our wealth, monetary or otherwise, comes from God.  God wants us to remember that our wealth really belongs to Him.

...then you say in your heart, my power and the might of my hand gave gained me this wealth.  And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth.  Deut. 8:17,18

Save for the future

God wants His people to save for the future and for emergencies.  These two verses from the Bible make that very clear:

There is desirable treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man squanders all he has.  Prov. 21:20

Go to the ant you lazy person.  Consider her ways and be wise, who having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer and gathers her food in the harvest.   Prov. 6:6-8

Having money saved up, takes a lot of stress out of our lives, allows us to take better care of our families, allows us to take care of others, and frees us to more easily follow God's plan for our lives.  For a more in depth look at God's desire for His people to save, be sure to read the article "What does God teach about saving?"

Take care of our families.

God wants us to use our wealth to provide for our families.  Many people, including Christians, believe that the Bible teaches that we are to put others first and take care of them before ourselves or our families.  THIS IS NOT TRUE!  Yes, we are to take care of others in God's name, but we must take care of ourselves and our families first.  That does not mean that we must surround ourselves and our families with luxury before we take care of others--it does mean that we are to take care of the basics for both ourselves and our families before we take care of others.  If we ourselves are suffering and in want because we are lacking the basics of life, then it is very difficult for us to care for others and thereby set a good, Christian example.  Basically, what the Bible actually teaches is to take care of ourselves and our families, but also take care of others.  Many Christians don't believe that this is what the Bible teaches; in fact, many pastors don't even realize it.  So, here are just three verses that make it unmistakable that it is all right to provide the basics for ourselves and for our families before we start caring for others:

...Look not only to your own needs, but also to the needs of others.  Phil. 2:4

Notice that this verse does not say to look to the needs of others instead of your own--it says to look to your own needs, but to also look to the needs of others.  Simply put, it is all right to take care of yourself, as long as you are caring for others as well.

If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.  1 Timothy 5:8

There's no arguing with this one.  If someone does not take care of their own family, they are not even as bad as an unbeliever--they are worse than an unbeliever!  Why worse?  Because God tells us right in the Bible that we are to take care of ourselves and our families.  If a believer does not take care of his own family, he is worse than an unbeliever because he should know better.

You shall love your neighbor as yourself  Mat 22:39

This verse says you should love your neighbor as you love yourself--it does not say that you should love your neighbor instead of loving yourself.  As I have already pointed out, though, this verse is not referring to luxurious living; it is referring to the basics of life.  If you don't love yourself enough to provide for your current and future needs, then "loving your neighbor as yourself" would mean not taking care of anyone else!

Are we to take care of others while neglecting the basic current and future needs of ourselves and our families?  Not according to the verses I just presented.

Are we to take care of others?  Absolutely!

Take care of others.

God wants us to set a good example, and open people's hearts and minds to God's Truth, by tending to their needs.  The first verse we'll look at is one that we we have already referenced.

...Look not only to your own needs, but also to the needs of others.  Phil. 2:4

Plain and simple.  After you have taken care of your own needs, you should be taking care of the needs of others.  This does not mean that we are to meet every need for every person in every situation--Christ Himself didn't even do that.  There were times Jesus went off to pray alone, and times He got in a boat and left the crowds behind.  If we try to take care of every need of every needy person, we would soon destroy ourselves emotionally and financially.  The trick is to pray, read your Bible, be open to God's leading and look for those that you feel God is directing you to help.  If you sincerely want to know whom to help, and if you pray about it, God will send into your life opportunities to help others.  Here are a few more verses that make it abundantly clear that God instructs us to help others:

A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.  Prov. 22:9

Simply put, a generous man helps to meet a very basic need of others by, in this example, making sure they at least have food.

Whoever has the world's goods and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?  Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue but in deed and truth.  1 John 3:17,18

If you have wealth and refuse to use any of it to care for the basic needs of others, you are not showing God's love.  

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.  Prov. 17:17

This one hardly even needs any explanation.  "Born for adversity" means that you are there for them when they are in trouble.

Spread God's Truth.

 ...Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  Mark 16:15

Our wealth helps to spread the gospel by helping others in God's name, paying for tracts and Bibles, funding missionaries, supporting our church, etc.

Tithe and support our church.

So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver.  2 Cor. 9:7

"Purposes in his heart" means whatever we feel led to give, have chosen to give and are willing to give.  This verse tells us that we should be willing to give happily.  If we can't give it happily, then we should not give it at all; however, we should then take a real good look at our relationship with God and figure out why our desire to give is not there.

Bring all of the tithes into the storehouse that there may be food in my house.  And test me now in this, says the Lord of hosts, and see if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.  Malachi 3:10

This verse shows that we should be tithing to our church to keep it going and to allow it to do God's work.  A good, proper, biblical church is not just there to tend to its members, it is also there to reach out to those who don't even know the Truth of Christ.  The real beauty of this verse is that if we show enough obedience to tithe, then God promises to bless us.  Like I always say, when we handle our money God's way, He blesses us for it.  For more information about tithing such as why we should, why God requests it, and whether or not we are required to do it, please read my article "The Truth About Tithing."

What God does NOT want us to do with our wealth.

Spend it foolishly.

Use it to do things that are outside God's teachings.

Accumulate it just so we can have more.

Let it become too important in our lives.

Let it replace or damage our relationship with Him.

If you do not belong to God, or don't know if you do, please start with my article:  Jesus Died On A Cross...So What?

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