Integrity In Finance

Integrity In Finance February 23, 2012

Psalm 15:5

who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken.

Christianity means many things. We are called to be so many things, but if I were to summarize it: we are called to emulate Jesus Christ, in all circumstances, as well as we can for as long as we can.

The above Psalm gives very straight-forward advice about handling money: don’t charge interest to those who can’t afford it. But if you dig deeper, and in the context of Psalm 15 as a whole, it is stating that a person of true integrity will be permitted to dwell in God’s sacred tent, and to live on His holy mountain.

Integrity With Money

The Bible says many things about money, and I think that is because God knew it would be such a struggle for us. We are warned to serve only one master (Matthew 6:24), and that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). This doesn’t mean that we are to avoid money in its entirety, but instead we are called to control money in a Godly way: with integrity.

We are to treat money as a tool, and use it for good. We are not to dishonor God by mismanaging it, and that includes compromising our integrity for worldly gains – especially at the expense of the most destitute.

Evangelizing With Integrity

One of the most powerful ways to witness to people about your faith in the Christ Jesus is to display your faith in the way you live. If others see the same greed in you that they see in anyone else, then are they getting the true picture of Jesus Christ?

But if you display an inexplicable honor & integrity in your financial dealings, then people will wonder where it comes from. For many, money is the truest test of what you truly believe:

Matthew 6:21

21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

If you use money as a tool, and only a tool, then people will wonder where your heart truly is, because it will clearly not be worshipping at the altar of money and greed.

City on a Hill

Remember, we are called to be a city on a hill. Our light is to shine brightly. For some, that means openly talking about their faith, but for others, that might mean living out your faith, and letting your actions be your words.

If people see the integrity you display in your finances, the peace that you have, and the control you display, then how could they not want that? No one likes being controlled by their money, but it’s a battle fought by the majority everyday!

Be a beacon of light in a dark financial world, and show them what true, biblical money management can accomplish. Display honor and integrity, and be the town on a hill that you were called to be!

Matthew 5:14-16

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

What is your experience with handling your finances with integrity? Let us know in the comments!

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  • I think what is very important is teaching that integrity with finances to your children. My daughter has been with me when I have been given too much money at the register and I return the excess. Or the time when both the cashier and I did not see the package of TP at the bottom of the cart. I turned around and went back in to pay for it. She is now able to recognize lack of integrity when a friend of hers gets undercharged for a lunch item and the friend just brushes it off as luck. She then questions whether or not she can trust this friend in other things.

    • Hello Anna!

      Thanks for stopping in and sharing your experiences. It’s wonderful that you’re teaching your child integrity, and living it out before her eyes. I think a lot of parents intend on teaching integrity, but certain “opportunities” like experiencing a little “luck” at the cash register slip by and undermine the lessons they teach.

      Anyone can be honest in some situations, the real test is being honest in the tough situations (especially the ones where you’re getting the better end of the deal). I think the easiest way to contend with this, is to remind yourself of all of the times you got the short end of the stick. Or the times where someone was inexplicably honest with you, such as returning your wallet (with all of your cash inside!). Thanks for stopping in, and sharing your thoughts!

      Thanks,

      Timothy

  • Wow! Excellent post!

    I try very hard to live out my faith, and it can be very difficult sometimes, but I think this is very important for people to learn. Great job on highlighting the importance of living out your faith, and providing the great pieces of scripture that back it up.

    God Bless,

    Humble Laura

    • Thanks there Mayor!

      Like you said “It’s difficult” but it can be learned. What I appreciate about the bible is that Jesus never claimed that living out our faith would be easy. In fact, he said to “Take up your cross daily and follow.” This tells me that not only would our faith be the hardest part of our lives, but it would be difficult daily. Thanks for stopping in and reading :-D.

      Thanks,

      Timothy

  • Excellent post Tim about how believers are supposed to deal with money. If we fail to have integrity in our business dealings, we very definitely impact people who may see us as frauds instead of as positive influences.

    • Hi Thad,

      I definitely agree. I’d have a lot of trouble embracing the faith of a person who I felt just stole from me or ripped me off. It is important for a Christian to handle all business dealings with a “I’m representing Jesus Christ” attitude. I just wish we could all drive our vehicles with that same attitude, LOL! Thanks for stopping in to say hello!

      Thanks,

      Timothy

  • I have found that by looking at money as just something I need to pay my rent and to buy a minimal amount of food and nothing else, that my needs – which are very few – tend to be taken care of with not much effort on my part. This leaves me with more time and energy to think about life and how I am meant to be as well as time to share these thoughts with others.

    Spending too much time and effort on accumulating money in order to accumulate things leads you down that path…as it says… For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

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  • I’m interested in hearing your take on Christians paying taxes – not in general, but rather how intentional do we have to be in fulfilling tax law in full? I blogged about it here -http://www.raisingthebarrs.com/2012/03/when-tax-laws-are-nearly-impossible-to-keep/ – about things like how we’re supposed to pay taxes when we receive a handful of change for babysitting, or find money on the sidewalk?