You can’t build wealth overnight.
Despite what many gurus may tell you, you can’t expect to make a huge sum of money with nothing but a snap of your fingers.
Instead of trusting in charlatans who don’t care about you, who just want to make a quick buck themselves, we should be putting our faith in better places.
God, for one. 🕊
Specifically, what does the Bible have to say about money?
Even if you’re not a Christian, the Bible contains SO much wise advice. There’s a lot to learn just by digging into some key verses and parables.
So, what does the Bible say about money and building wealth?
I’ve been studying the topic of wealth & money in the Bible for a while now.
And I couldn’t help but share some of my findings in today’s blog.
DID YOU KNOW? One “talent” in the Bible amounted to $400,000. That means 5 talents = $2M!
Let’s look at two verses to see some important wisdom and sage advice that’s revealed to us…
…Because our anxieties and fears about money are calmed and soothed when we follow God’s word and put our trust in Him. And if we look even deeper, we’ll find kernels of truth about more than just money, but also about how we should use our God-given skills. 💗
What the Bible Says About Money in Matthew 25:14: The Parable of the Talents
In the Bible, the book of Matthew is important for a few reasons:
- It’s the first book of the New Testament and the second half of the Bible, which tells of Jesus’ coming – his birth, baptism, temptation, teachings, death, and resurrection.
- It’s the first book of the Gospels, which together focus on telling the good news that Jesus is the savior through whom God fulfills his promises made in the Old Testament.
The verse we’re focusing on in particular, Matthew 25:14, is a parable Jesus teaches his disciples to instruct them on the Kingdom of Heaven. (“Parable,” by the way, just means a simple story used to teach a moral lesson.)
For all of those reasons, it’s worth it to take a close look at exactly what lesson Jesus is trying to get across. As it turns out, he’s making some important points about what it means to invest wisely – and not just in money!
Verse Summary: What Matthew 25:14 Says About Money… and More
A man, before traveling to a far-off country, gives each of his servants “talents” (in Bible-speak, this means a large sum of money) according to their abilities.
- To give you a better image of how much a “talent” amounts to…
- Owning just one meant you were extremely wealthy.
- One talent = about 20 years of a day laborer’s wage
- In today’s terms, let’s estimate a day laborer (i.e., a manual laborer) makes around $20k/year.
- $20k x 20 years = $400,000 = one talent 🤯
With that math in mind:
One servant gets five talents ($2 million). Another gets two talents ($800k). And a third servant gets one talent ($400k).
After the master is gone, the servant with the five talents immediately takes action. He trades his talents and gains five more. The second servant also manages to double his number of talents with decisive action.
And the third servant? He squirrels away his one talent by burying it in the ground, hiding the money.
When the master returns, he has choice words for each servant when he settles his accounts with them.
- To the servant who doubled his five talents (turned $2M into $4M), the master offers praise. He tells this servant that since he was faithful with the talents entrusted to him, the master will give him more, AND he will “share his joy” with him.
- The servant who doubled his two talents earns the same praise and treatment.
The third servant who hid his talent offers an explanation for doing nothing with it: He was afraid since he knows his master to be a hard man who “reaps where [he] did not sow and gathers where [he] scattered no seed.”
What happens? The master chastises this third servant, calling him “wicked” and “lazy.” He says, if the servant truly believes his master is hard, he should have put the money in the bank where it at least could gain interest. Then the master instructs his one talent to be taken away and given to the servant with 10 talents.
What’s the Lesson?
First, we can read this parable in two ways –
At face value, it offers wisdom about investing money. Those who take initiative WITH their knowledge – this distinction is important because taking action without it is foolish and overconfident – will not only fare better than those who fearfully do nothing…
They’ll thrive. Their wealth will multiply!
The master gave his servants everything they needed to succeed. The third servant failed to act on this knowledge, even acting in spite of it due to fear, which is why he was so roundly scolded and ultimately punished.
Another way we can look at this parable is by interpreting the definition of “talents” literally.
If we consider them as skill sets, our God-given skills, the meaning shifts.
God has given each of us special abilities, at least one major thing we do better than anyone else. How are we using those literal talents?
Are we investing in them faithfully, growing them, and using them wisely?
Or are we burying them in the ground fearfully?
Maybe you’re not using your talent because you have low self-worth, and using your skill would require a leap of faith – both in yourself and in God.
Whatever your situation, this parable calls us to be faithful with our God-given talents. Trust in them, use them, and be decisive with them. Don’t sit in fear of what will happen. Use your knowledge, use your skills, and ACT.
What the Bible Says About Money in Ecclesiastes 11:2: Avoiding Risk
Now we turn to Ecclesiastes, which means we’re flipping back to the Old Testament, which chronicles events before Jesus’ time.
Ecclesiastes itself is a reflection on human life – how short it is, how contradictory, how seemingly useless – UNLESS we put our faith and trust in God, who makes it all worthwhile.
Verse Summary: What Ecclesiastes 11:2 Has to Say About Money
Particularly, chapter 11 of Ecclesiastes gives us a list of actions a wise person will take in life. What verse 11:2 has to say about money is relatively simple:
“Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.”
In other words: Avoid risk, avoid disaster, by diversifying your income!
For example, what happens when you put all your eggs in one basket and invest 100% in one venture… but then disaster strikes? E.g…
- The economy busts and your clients suddenly don’t have the funds to invest in your services
- You gain a new competitor who undercuts your prices so dramatically, you can’t compete
- New technology emerges that makes your service obsolete
What’s the Lesson?
With nothing to fall back on, you’ll lose everything. That’s why it’s so important to diversify your income and create additional income streams.
Creative entrepreneurs especially need safety nets in place as they grow their businesses. For example:
- If you sell knowledge-based services (i.e., copywriting, accounting), you could funnel that knowledge into a passive income stream by writing a book, creating a course, etc.
- Once you do that, you could add another income stream by investing in stocks, real estate, etc.
- Once each income stream is set up, you can continue diversifying slowly and wisely.
See how that works?
I’m a BIG fan of creating businesses out of your passion. One business led to a 13,000x ROI for me!
What the Bible Has to Say About Money Is Deeply Valuable
The Bible is stuffed full of advice not just about spiritual matters, but also about how to live life wisely – which happens to be in step with God.
What the Bible has to say about money can guide us in the right direction with our finances and businesses…
But it’s also packed with layers of meaning, and it’s worth diving deep into its pages to discover them.
It truly is a Good Book. 📜
And, speaking of wisdom…
Do you have the right smarts on your side as a creative business owner?
Do you have the help, skills, and strategy you need to jump to the next level?
Proverbs says, “Walk with the wise, and become wise.” (Proverbs 13.20)
If you don’t have what you need to exponentially grow your talents… GET what you need.
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