Spiritually-Based Financial Advice, Part 1
Many of our laws and customs have a spiritual basis, so it should come as no surprise that spiritual beliefs serve as a source for financial inspiration and guidance as well. To help understand the complex subject of spiritually-based financial advice, I enlisted the help of someone who deals in this niche topic every day.
Pete Anderson runs one of a growing number of spiritually-based personal finance blogs, Bible Money Matters. He started the site last year as a place to capture his thoughts on matters of his Christian faith and how it affects his finances. Pete graciously agreed to a question and answer session, which I’d like to share with you.
M: Why pair faith with finances?
P: Many people believe that faith and finances should be wholly separate, but I believe they work together. The Bible has over 2300 verses on money, and it is clear to me that our money needs to be informed by our faith.
M: How does your Christian faith influence your finances?
P: As a Christian I think that my faith really should have an influence in all areas of my life, my finances is definitely one of those areas. [Money] is one of the most prominent topics in the Bible, and I think it needs to be treated with the care and importance the Bible places on it.
I know some readers might not think the Bible would have anything to say to non-Christians, but much of what the Bible says about money is just good common sense, and the principles can be taken and applied by anyone!
M: Do you look to the Bible for inspiration, general guidance, or hard and fast rules?
P: I look to the Bible for inspiration, for general guidance in my day to day life, and for the hard and fast moral and guiding principles that define how I live my life. I’ve found countless times by picking up my Bible that a verse I’ve read will inspire a post for that day. Or on other occasions I’ll be having a moral quandary, and I’ll turn to the Bible only to find the answer I was looking for. There’s a reason why the Bible is the most popular book of all time. It is timeless and has a way of speaking to you, no matter who or where you are.
M: What are some of your favorite Bible passages on the subject and how do they drive your actions?
P: Here are two that come to mind recently:
The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender [Proverbs 22:7]. This verse reminds me of the power relationship in becoming a borrower, and how it means you can’t be truly free.
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive [Acts 20:35].’ This reminds me that we are implored to help others, and that giving of ourselves and our money is of the utmost importance.
Now that we have a basic understanding of the topic, we’ll cover some more difficult subjects in the second part of this post. We’ll explore the world of scarcity versus world of abundance, the apparent conflict between spiritual advice and lofty financial goals, differences between spiritual and secular financial advice, and more.
How do you feel about the answers so far?