Have you noticed that it's not as easy to save money today as it used to be? Ever wonder why? I can think of at least three reasons: 1. Increased inflation, 2. Increased consumption, 3. Increased taxes. What does the Bible say about savings and investment?
The Old Testament is full of examples of godly men who understood that saving money was a sign of God's blessing. Genesis records that Abraham was a man of true wealth, having stored up gold, silver, land and cattle. Joseph was directed by God to store food and provisions for the coming judgment. His obedience was rewarded by actually helping to save a whole nation during the seven years of famine.
The biblical model of saving up a portion of your resources is not widely understood today. We Christians in America have become soft in our seemingly unending era of peace and prosperity. But this era may be coming to an end very soon and those who live beyond their means will soon discover that hard times are also a part of God's preparation for his people.
Part of the confusion that Christians suffer from in the area of savings and investment is a lack of a balanced perspective. For example, Jesus said that we should not lay up riches here on earth, yet the Apostle Paul instructed Timothy that if a man does not provide for his family he is worse than an infidel. Are these conflicting principles? Not at all. First, the context of Jesus statement was that faith must be placed in God, not money. Money is simply a tool to advance our faith and provide for our needs in the process. The key is to make the spiritual issues our first priority ... seek first the kingdom, THEN all these things will be added unto you (Matt. 6:33).
The great problem today is that our whole debt-based money system is strangling Christians (and all Americans) because we have not learned, nor obeyed the scriptural mandates of honest money and shunning debt. Here are a few tips on how to get on track:
1. Live within your means. Establish a workable budget and begin to pay off your debt ASAP. Remember Prov. 22:7 "the borrower is a slave to the lender.
2. Tithe to your local church and your household on the first fruits of your labor. This means you must learn to live on 80% of your income.
3. Diversify your reserve capital into 7 or 8 areas, beginning with the least risky. Everyone should have at least 6 months income in savings to cover any short term emergency that could arise. Everyone should own some honest, constitutional money -- gold and silver coins. Only then are you in a position to consider investments like stocks, bonds, funds, etc.
The bottom line is that we should work all we can, save all we can, and then give all we can. True wealth will follow a godly life. Ungodly riches will drag the ungodly into the pit.