How To Earn Money For God’s Glory

Biblical Personal Finance: Earning for God’s Glory

By William Boekestein

To paraphrase a question often asked by a popular financial advisor, imagine what the people of God could do if their financial houses were in order.

If the question doesn’t sound very “spiritual” we might have an unbiblical notion of spirituality. More than 2,000 Scripture verses deal with money and possessions. The way we manage money is fundamentally a spiritual matter (Luke 16:10-11). On top of this, consider the problems related to poor money management. In a recent survey 46% of Americans reported suffering from debt-related stress. Financial problems can lead to marital breakdowns and contribute to unethical behavior (Prov. 30:8-9).

It never ceases to amaze me that algebra is required in school but personal finance is not. We desperately need to hear what the Bible says about personal finance.

In Ephesians 4:28 Paul boils personal finance down to two points: Earning and spending. He does so not as a financial guru but as a pastor teaching believers how to “walk worthy of the calling with which [they] were called” (v. 1).

Fiscal fidelity looks different from family to family. Some believers cannot work due to severe handicap. Sometimes wives contribute to the family’s budget by working in the home. Still, ordinarily, earning and saving helps us to look not only to our own interests but also to the interests of others (Phil. 2:4).

A number of principles help us navigate the waters of earning:

1. Heads of Household Must Provide

Paul says something startling in 1 Timothy 5:8. “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” It’s hard to understand Paul’s phrase “worse than an unbeliever.” What could be worse than denying the gospel and rejecting God’s free grace? God’s answer: Failing to provide for your family. While it is permissible for a man to delegate breadwinning to his wife for weighty and justifiable reasons, the responsibility ultimately rests on him (Ruth 3:1-4Eph. 5:28-29).

2. Needlessly Burdening Others Is Sin

It has become acceptable today for people who could be helping provide for themselves, to burden others. I’ll never forget the answer I heard when I once asked a man what he did for work. “I leech off the government,” he said. Even though such an answer approaches the pinnacle of shame, I have stopped being surprised having now heard the answer a number of times. The Bible says, “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” Paul goes on to write, “For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread” (2 Thess. 3:10-12).

3. Work Is for God’s Glory

Roughly 25% of our adult lives are dedicated to work. If we don’t work well, much of our life displeases our Maker. Even those who do not need to work to provide for their families still must work to glorify God. “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men…It is the Lord Christ whom you serve” (Col. 3:23,24).

This rule of God-honoring productivity also applies to young people. Children should begin laboring on behalf of the family from an early age. By their early teen years they should be pulling much of their own weight. This is important because children are developing lifelong habits. For a few generations many parents have not required their children to work. As a result, laziness and self-serving indulgence abounds. In some families a young person’s schooling is viewed as their work. When this is the case parents must see that their students are academically disciplined. Students not working hard at school should be otherwise gainfully employed so they can “eat their own bread.” The status of “student” doesn’t entitle anyone to be slothful and unproductive.

4. Workaholism Does Not Honor God

Very few people in our day and place are forced to overwork in order to survive. Instead, often workaholism is a sign of imbalance. It may indicate a retreat from family stressors. It may indicate that the family is spending more than they should and may need to downsize in order for the breadwinner to be home more. Workaholism can also be one of the many counterfeit gods we worship. The love of money, the seduction of success, and the power and glory of achievement may drive us to work too much. Even during busy times God demands rest (Ex. 34:21).

*Article origin: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/biblical-personal-finance-earning-gods-glory/ (September 25, 2013)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

William Boekestein is the pastor of Covenant Reformed Church in Carbondale, PA.

He received his B.A. at Kuyper College and his M.Div. at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. He has worked in residential construction and taught at a Christian school for several years. He and his wife have three children.

He has authored “Life Lessons from a Calloused Christian: A Study of Jonah with Questions,” as well as three fully-illustrated children’s books on the history of the Reformed Confessions (“Faithfulness under Fire: The Story of Guido de Bres ,” “The Quest for Comfort: The Story of the Heidelberg Catechism,” and “The Glory of Grace: The Story of the Canons of Dort”).

His latest, co-authored with Joel Beeke, is “Why Christ Came: 31 Meditations on the Incarnation.”

My Money or God’s Money?

*Treasure Principle Keys From Randy Alcorn

 Jesus, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).

Key Principle: “You can’t take it with you—but you can send it on ahead.”

Key #1: God owns EVERYTHING. I’m His Money Manager.

“We are the managers of the assets God has entrusted—not given—to us.”

Key #2: My HEART always goes where I put God’s money.

“Watch what happens when you reallocate your money from temporal things to eternal things.”

Key #3: Heaven, NOT Earth, is my home.

“We are citizens of a ‘better country—a heavenly one.’”

Key #4: I should live not for the DOT but for the LINE.

“From the dot—our present life on earth—extends a line that goes on forever, which is eternity in heaven.”

Key #5: GIVING is the only antidote to MATERIALISM.

“Giving is a joyful surrender to a greater person and a greater agenda. It dethrones me and exalts Him.

Key #6: God prospers me NOT to raise my standard of LIVING, but to raise my standard of GIVING.

“God gives us more money than we need so we can give-generously.”

*Adapted from Randy Alcorn’s Book “The Treasure Principle”

Randy Alcorn is the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries, a nonprofit ministry devoted to promoting an eternal viewpoint and drawing attention to people in special need of advocacy and help. Randy was a pastor for fourteen years before starting this ministry and is a popular church and conference speaker. He and his wife live in Gresham, Oregon and are the proud parents of two daughters, Karina and Angela, and the grandparents of four grandsons.

A popular fiction author, Randy has held readers spellbound with fast-paced, gripping fiction infused with eternal themes. His books Edge of Eternity, Deadline, and Dominion, and Deception all point readers to the truth that the choices we make have eternal consequences.Lord Foulgrin’s Letters and The Ishbane Conspiracy tackle the subject of spiritual warfare and are meant to help equip Christians to recognize and resist the attacks of the enemy. Safely Home asks the question “Are you ready to die for your faith?”

Randy is also passionate about life and has written Pro-life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments, a book that has been widely used to train students and adults to articulate the pro-life position in a secular culture. He often speaks on pro-life related themes and has included them in his novels.

Randy’s other books include The Law of RewardsThe Treasure PrincipleThe Grace and Truth ParadoxThe Purity PrincipleHeaven, and Wait Until Then.

Randy’s life emphasis is on 1) communicating the strategic importance of using our earthly time, money, possessions, and opportunities to invest in need-meeting ministries that will count for eternity; and 2) analyzing, teaching, and applying the moral, social, and relational implications of Christian truth in the current age. Visit Randy’s blog at http://www.randyalcorn.blogspot.com.

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