Back To The Basics: Saving

Back To The Basics: Saving January 28, 2011


What Does The Bible Say About Saving Money?

The Bible provides great wisdom on the topic of saving because it’s such an important part of our lives.  Learning to live on less than what we earn keeps us from overindulging and becoming financially irresponsible.

Christians should be especially good savers because of these Biblical insights on setting aside income.  Yes, the scriptures also tell us that God will provide all our needs, which is an argument I’ve heard (too many times) as an excuse or rationale for a lack of savings.  God truly is our provider, which is exactly why we need to be the best stewards (and savers) that we can be with our money.

Why Should I Save Money?

We Save For Our Future

We hear about short-term savings, emergency funds, retirement accounts, Christmas savings, and just about every other reason for saving these days.  They all have this in common – it’s usually to prepare for a future expense, whether known or unknown.  Saving is a habit that is even ingrained in the smallest of creatures, like the ant.

Proverbs 6:6-8

Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones.  Learn from their ways and become wise!  Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter.

We Save So Our Plans Succeed

Doesn’t planning seem to make things work so much easier?  The same is true when we save and plan ahead financially.  If we don’t, you can almost guarantee that you’ll have a tough time or even fail at your goal.  But saving and planning ahead can put you much further ahead than leaving it to chance.

Proverbs 21:5

The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.

We Save So We Can Give

When we learn to live on less and set aside parts of our savings to give away, I think we get a better understanding what the greatest investment really is in this world.  It’s not about money, or possessions, but about spreading God’s word to all people.  If we aren’t faithful in saving, it’s awfully difficult to provide financial support to the missions and ministries that we want to see thrive.

In this verse, Paul is urging the people of Corinth to set aside money for those stricken by poverty in Jerusalem.  Paul is encouraging them to be generous and to do so through saving ahead.  We can do the same and support those in need if we actively set aside a part of our wages.

1 Corinthians 16:2

On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.

We Save Because It’s Just Wise

The wisdom of the Proverbs sums up the reason we should save – because it’s just good to do.  When we save, we can be prepared for the future, succeed with our plans, and give freely.

Proverbs 21:20

The wise man saves for the future but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.

Why You Shouldn’t Save

Don’t Save Out of Fear

2 Timothy 1:7 tells us that “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

There’s a difference between worrying and planning ahead.  Worrying is driven by fear; planning ahead is driven by wisdom.  When we let fear control our thoughts and our actions (like saving money), we won’t be free to give or use our savings wisely.  That fear will continue to rule our decisions and will keep us from saving for the right reasons.

Luke 12:7

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

Don’t Save Out of Arrogance and Pride

Is your goal to have millions of dollars one day?  It begs the question why?  What are your reasons for having so much?   Sometimes wealth can bring a false sense of security and make us feel confident in something that can simply blow away in the wind.

Proverbs 18:11

The rich think of their wealth as a strong defense; they imagine it to be a high wall of safety.

Don’t Save Out of Selfishness or Greed

Have you ever met someone who was so stingy with their money that they would make every excuse in the book not to use it or help others out?  I’m not saying that everyone with money should be forced to help everyone in need – I’m saying that selfishness or greediness will rob you of life.

Proverbs 1:19

Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money; it robs them of life.

Proverbs 23:4

Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit.

Like all aspects of faith and finance, the recurring question you need to ask is “why am I doing this?”  Knowing your true reasons for saving, giving, spending or investing will help you to become wise in handling your finances.

Back to The Basics Series…

Part One: Income

Part Two: Savings

Part Three: Budgeting

Part Four: Debt

Part Five: Investing

Part Six: Giving

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