Biblical Principles of Money Management: Contentment

by Jessica Sommerfield · 0 comments

The Bible contains a wealth of financial wisdom dating back several centuries B.C. While the context of the world economy has changed through the ages, the basic principles of responsible money management haven’t. One of the common financial themes throughout the Bible is that of frugality and contentment. Here are a few passages on the topic of contentment we can draw modern-day applications from.

Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. – Ecclesiastes 5:10

Some soldiers were questioning him, saying, “And what about us, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages.” – Luke 3:14

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. – Philippians 4:11-12

For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. – I Timothy 6:7-10

Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have. – Hebrews 13:5

There is no doubt that contentment is strongly encouraged in the Bible. You need go no further than television commercials, Internet ads, and retail circulars to find the opposite. Our Western culture is extremely consumed with obtaining wealth and possessions. As consumers, we are constantly bombarded with things that promise to make our lives easier and happier, or at the very least, look young and stylish. It can be tempting to get caught up in consumerism and forget that there are more important things to do with money than spend it, and there are more important pursuits in life than acquiring wealth and possessions. Here are a few suggestions of ways to increase your contentment and ultimately find greater happiness.

Don’t stop comparing yourself to others – just compare your life to that of people in third-world countries.

No matter your income, you are in a top percentage of wealth by world standards. The Unites States ranked 7th out of 181 nations in 2012 based on gross domestic product. Just 700 miles south of Miami is the small island nation of Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, where 80% of the population lives on less than $2 a day. Think about that the next time you wish you made more money. To get a realistic picture of what poverty really looks like, consider watching a documentary or, better yet, visit a poor country on a humanitarian trip.

Find contentment by enjoying activities that don’t revolve around money.

Looking at third-world countries can help you get a realistic perspective of how wealthy you really are but makes it no less difficult to live in a culture that pressures you to live up to the standard displayed. A good way to stay balanced is to get involved in activities that don’t require currency – enjoying nature, physical activity, gardening, pets, and inexpensive hobbies.

Focus on your non-monetary blessings in life.

Contentment involves more than just our financial situation, which won’t always be ideal. When finances are tight it’s easy to feel depressed or hopeless. If your finances take a turn for the worse, focus on other blessings such as your health, your family, and your friends. Find the things that make you laugh and smile most often, and keep them close, because after all “we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we (should) be content with that.”

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