The Worth of Financial Integrity
When it comes to money, the manner in which you treat others is just as important as in any other respect.
“A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is His delight.” –Proverbs 11:1
“Woe to him who builds his house without righteousness and his upper rooms without justice, who uses his neighbor’s services without pay and does not give him his wages.” –Jeremiah 22:13
God cares about money
I don’t know how much you’ve heard about various abominations (depends on the preaching you’ve had exposure to), but one particular abomination I think gets far too little coverage, and that’s the perversion of financial justice.
Did you know God cares about money? A lot? I think perhaps it’s a widely-held opinion that God is anti-money. Or that God simply doesn’t have any energy, uh, invested in the subject. (Yes, you may groan.)
But do some studying and searching around in the Bible (a profitable endeavor), and you will find that in fact there are a wealth of verses (OK, I’ll stop now!) about prioritizing equality, integrity, and honesty when it comes to conducting financial affairs.
Do you care about money?
That’s the real question here. I don’t mean do you care about having money, or spending money. We all want more money so we can spend more money. But what I’m talking about is simple: do you care about the virtue of handling money wisely? Because this is an area that trips up the best of us. Money matters can divide businesses, ruin reputations, destroy marriages, and strain friendships to the breaking point.
I think it’s because money is so intertwined with our sense of identity and self-worth. I earn my money with blood, sweat, and tears, dammit! How dare you take it away from me? Or it’s about freedom. I can buy whatever I want! you can’t tell me how to spend my money!
What if we looked at money from a different viewpoint: the capacity to bless others and provide a refuge for future generations. What if money wasn’t a tool to be used for immediate gratification, but a weapon of warfare against spiritual enemies: greed, pride, apathy, and selfishness. What if money wasn’t, in fact, a carnal measurement of status and individual purchasing power, but an integral part of how God expects us to interact with our fellow humans, every day, to build up a strong and mutually successful community.
Money isn’t evil. Money isn’t good. Money just is. How you use it is what imbues it with moral significance, and you can use money in a good way every bit as much as using it in a bad way.
Choose to do things right
God cares about money because He cares about us. Let’s choose to honor Him by doing what is right.
- Pay people a fair wage. Pay on time.
- Spend money on worthy causes.
- Invest in people, not schemes.
- Build a legacy that will empower your children to rise above. Don’t saddle them with a house of cards or leave them empty-handed.
- Engage in making healthier, safer communities. Don’t treat money usage as a personal hobby.
- If you’re called to great wealth, don’t be ashamed. Use your good fortune to bless others.
If you don’t have much, don’t despair. God can feed 5,000 men with a couple servings of fish dinner. He will take care of you—with leftovers!