The 6 “R’s” of Christian Personal Finance: Important Biblical Principles

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We want to honor God in all that we do. Honoring Him is, of course, commanded. The more we come to love God, though, the more it should be our desire to honor Him in all we do. That needs to be true in our financial lives as much as it is true in any other area of our lives.

Jesus, when asked what the greatest commandment was, responded that we are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Money can harm each of those if we are not careful. It can have our heart, weaken our soul, corrupt our mind, and zap our strength.

Or, we can use our money to honor the Lord. Here are six basic principles for using our money and possessions to God’s glory.

1. Realize it’s Not Yours in the First Place

In the Psalms God says:

For every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine. – Psalm 50:10-11 NIV

We often speak of “stewardship,” which reminds us that we are simply managing what we have for God, since He not only created it all, He owns it all.

Psalms also says:

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. – Psalm 24:1 NIV

When I realize that, it will be the first step in using my money to His glory. After all, it’s really His money, anyway.

2. Recognize Responsibility

If you are given some money and asked to manage it for someone else, you likely take great care with that money. Such needs to be true with the money God entrusts to us, as well.

In Matthew 25:14-30 NIV, Jesus told the Parable of the Bags of Gold. The master in the parable gave to each of his three servants according to their ability. Whatever you have – whether a lot or a little – is given to you by the Lord. That should help build within us a great deal of responsibility to handle that money properly.

3. Remember God First

When making out your family budget, does God have first place, or does He just get the leftovers? If you are blessed with a bonus check or some other money, is your first thought how you can spend it on yourself, or do you consider how you can use at least some of that money to further the work of the Lord? While we are not under the Old Testament law, in which the Israelites were required to give their first to the Lord, doing so is still a good way to make sure He is always the priority. Paul told those in Corinth:

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. – 2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV

4. Reign in Spending

Many articles on this site will help you here, but if you want to honor the Lord, you need to cut down on lifestyle. That means overcoming the problem of debt, and it means avoiding frivolous spending. Christians are to be people of control (Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:6). One place that manifests itself is in our spending.

5. Ready Your Future

While we do not know how much time we might have in this life (read James 4:13-16), we are still to consider our future. Always remember that plans can, and often do, change, and be ready for God’s will in any area. However, think about the rainy days that will likely come. Consider your children or beyond (Proverbs 13:22). Think of how you can bless many people to God’s glory by good, solid planning.

6. Respect Others

The rich fool in Jesus’ story had some favorite pronouns: I, me, my, and mine (Luke 12:17-19). He never considered giving some of his bumper crop away, or selling it at a lower price to help those with less money.

No matter how much you might have, think of others. Bless them with whatever you have. If you don’t have much money, you can still have someone over for a meal to bless their life. But, if you have wealth, think of how you can help and bless those who are made in the image of God.

These may seem like basic steps, but they are steps you can take to be sure that your finances are handled in a Christian way.

What are some other Christian financial principles that have helped you? Leave a comment!












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13 Comments
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  1. This is such good advice. Wish more and more would live by these rules. Thanks for sharing. Now I’m going to share this.

  2. Carol Smith

    very enlightening!!!

  3. 10% tithes are different than gifts; the Bible instructs us to tithe 10% and then to give gifts. My charitable donations are only to God centered organizations or other Christians; I don’t give to secular organizations, other than the IRS and that’s forced.
    I love what Corrie ten Boom said, “”Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?”

  4. I’m a big believer in the attitude that money is not ours in the first place, it’s the Lords who is just letting us manage it. I find it much easier to handle money when I remember who is in charge.

  5. May I add to your R’s – “Rest in God”.
    Sometimes we try so hard to do things right and easily become frustrated when we don’t get what we expected.
    Rest in God means consulting Him about your finances and following His lead (even when it doesn’t make sense to you). Rest in God means you trust Him completely to take care of you including your finances. If God is first in your life and you’re living to please Him including in your money then success even in personal finances will come.

    • Pamela, thank you for posting this comment. It is exactly what I needed to hear right now. It was no coincidence that I read this article, and your response right at this moment. Thank you and God Bless :)

  6. Great post. In budgeting I think a lot of us forget about who gets first dibs on the budget sheet…

  7. Gertrude Angom

    Amazing.
    Thanks

  8. OWEN KOWELO

    Thank you for the biblical approach, grace is needed .This reminds me the teaching of prophet T.B Joshua, Giving if done in humility , simplicity and humbleness is the best investment and that every body has something to give. we are a solution to others problems.

  9. Great list Bob! I was reading in Philippians 2 so verses 3 and 4 really support #6 on your list here. Thanks for the information!

  10. I am so thankful to CPF for the wonderful articles you all post. Thanks. We are having a stewardship campaign at our Church to pay it off. We want to be even better to the community we serve instead of paying a mortgage each month. These article always reinforce what is taught at Church and are such a blessing.

  11. That’s again a great article and just like every time loved it from the core of my heart. The first thing about pure Christian living, besides Love, is simple living. Jesus proved it through his life. The main problem we are facing in today’s world is greed. All our actions are guided by greed and this is where all the problems of our lives crop up from. Living on credit has become a habit and you will hardly find anyone who is not in debt. Spending more than one’s means has become a habit. This is where we need to restrain ourselves to stop the world fall apart. Amen!

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