Click below to listen to Episode 29 – Biblical Viewpoints of Money and Wealth Part 1

Biblical Viewpoints of Money and Wealth Part 1

Learn about handling God’s money through seven Biblical viewpoints.

In this episode, Bob and Mary Jo begin a series called “Biblical Viewpoints of Money and Wealth”. This topic was originally designed as a Bible Study and written by Bob Barber. The series is a deep dive into what God’s word has to say about money, so it is a perfect topic to cover here on Christian Financial Perspectives.

This series includes 7 viewpoints that Bob came up with:

  1. The Difference Between a Biblical and Secular Worldview (the foundation for the rest of the entire Bible study and handling wealth from a Biblical perspective)
  2. The Difference Between an Owner and a Manager
  3. The Biblical Worldview of Working and Retirement
  4. Secular and Biblical Counsel
  5. Money and Wealth
  6. Giving and Blessings
  7. Inheritance and Legacy

HOSTED BY: Bob Barber, CWS® and Mary Jo Lyons, CFP®

Mentioned In This Episode

Christian Financial Advisors
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Bob Barber, CWS®, CKA®
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Mary Jo Lyons, CFP®, CKA®

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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

[INTRODUCTION]

Bob: Welcome to Christian Financial Perspectives, a weekly podcast where we talk about ways to integrate your faith with your finances. This is Bob Barber.

Mary Jo: And I’m Mary Jo Lyons.

Bob: Are you ready to learn how to apply biblical wisdom to everyday financial decisions?

Mary Jo: Join us as we look at integrating your faith with your finances. If it’s your first time listening, welcome to our podcast, and if you’re a returning listener, welcome back.

[EPISODE]

Mary Jo:
In this week’s show, we will begin a series called “Biblical Viewpoints of Money and Wealth”. This was originally designed as a Bible study and written by Bob Barber, my cohost. The series is a deep dive into what God’s word has to say about money. We thought this would be a perfect topic to cover here on Christian Financial Perspectives. We hope you agree. This series includes seven viewpoints. Bob, let’s go over the seven viewpoints that you came up with.

Bob:
Mary Jo, I’m so excited to be bringing “Biblical Viewpoints of Money and Wealth” to our program. Some of our listening audience may remember a study called “Seven Pillars of Biblical Stewardship”, and may have even gone through that with their churches as that was taught. That was a seven week Bible study. Literally, Mary Jo, hundreds of churches across South Texas used it, and this is an updated version. Each one of these viewpoints sits on its own, but they all tie together. Here is the first viewpoint, and we’re going to spend a lot of time on this one today, but then we’re going to go through the other viewpoints, so you’ll have a good understanding of what this Bible study is all about. And by the way, if you would like a copy of this Bible study, always feel free to give us a call. That number is (877) 718-7884. Again, that number is (877) 718-7884, and we’ll tell you how to get a copy of this Bible study. The first biblical viewpoint is, “What is the difference between a biblical and secular worldview?” This is the foundation for the entire Bible study and handling wealth from a biblical perspective.

Mary Jo:
The second viewpoint is “The difference between an owner and a manager”. Let’s take a look and see how this applies to our discussion. Basically, God owns it all, and he is the business owner. And as the manager, you are in charge of taking care of all of the aspects of God’s business and being a good steward of that business and managing it accordingly. You answer to God’s instruction.

Bob:
Mary Jo, that was put perfectly. I liked the way you said that.

Mary Jo:
Thanks, Bob.

Bob:
The third viewpoint is the biblical worldview of working and retirement. Now, this is something that we’re going to tackle later on because today we’re going to spend a lot of time on what is the difference between a biblical and secular worldview. But when we get to talking about working from a biblical worldview and even retirement, you’re going to hear something different that you’ve never heard. This is going to be a lot of fun.

Mary Jo:
It makes me kind of think back to what God’s word says about working in retirement, and working is mentioned in the Bible many times over.

Bob:
Exactly. It’s mentioned hundreds of times.

Mary Jo:
Hundreds of times! But retirement is only in there once, maybe twice. God didn’t really intend for us to never stop working.

Bob:
That’s right. Yeah.

Mary Jo:
I was hoping to look to a life of leisure in my days to come, but I guess that’s not happening.

Bob:
It’s a life that’s going to glorify God.

Mary Jo:
There you go.

Bob:
Retirement, the way that America looks at it, is different than the way God looks at it.

Mary Jo:
This is true. We need to give that some thought. The next viewpoint is a “Secular and biblical counsel”. Seeking wise counsel, but understanding what the difference is between counsel in the secular world and biblical counsel. And you can get that biblical counsel through Bob and I at Christian Financial Advisors as Certified Kingdom Advisors.

Bob:
Mary Jo, do you remember when we did the program on this actual subject, I guess, many, many weeks ago. And we use 1 Timothy 3 as the guideline, and that’s going to be a lot of what this fourth viewpoint is. I’ll tell you, when you’re doing the Bible study and you’re opening it up and you start writing these words down, it’s like you hear it, you see it, then you write it down.

Mary Jo:
Oh yes, that’s the best way to learn anything.

Bob:
Exactly. The fifth viewpoint of the seven viewpoints is “Money and Wealth from a Biblical Perspective”. How do we look at that? When you think about it, many of us are holding on to that money and wealth as tight as we can. Think about when you take your hand and you make a fist and you make that fist as tight as you can. Well, that can create stress. A biblical worldview is actually releasing that hand, releasing that wealth into God’s control, and allowing God to own that. And again, we’re managers of it. It provides a lot of freedom.

Mary Jo:
Which brings us to the sixth viewpoint and that’s “Giving and Blessings”. We know that it is more blessed to give than it is to receive.

Bob:
Now, that is definitely a biblical viewpoint, isn’t it?

New Speaker:
Yes, it is.

Bob:
Because the seventh secular viewpoint is “It’s more blessed to get than give”, but from God’s perspective, “It’s More Blessed to Give”. And I’ll tell you, I’ve seen people become givers. And the blessings that come from that are amazing because that releases the bondage that materialism has on us when we’re giving.

Mary Jo:
I’ve seen that happen over and over and in my own life. I always have the saying who give, get. That simple.

Bob:
But don’t just give to get.

Mary Jo:
Well, no, that’s true. Gotta be the right heart.

Bob:
Well, we’re not refering to prosperity theology, but we’re talking about getting the blessings of just feeling good and helping others. Remember, Mary Jo, when I said, why is the dead sea dead? You remember that?

Mary Jo:
Yeah, that’s right. Cause nothing flows out of it. It flows in, but not out.

Bob:
Everything flows in, but nothing flows out. And then the last biblical viewpoint that we’ll share many weeks from now is inheritance and leaving a legacy. And again, it’s so different because today you go to the estate planning attorneys office and you set up the inheritance just so it’s quickly gotten to the hands of the next generation. And many times, have never considered what would God have me do with this? Before we get into the seven viewpoints, I’ve established some overarching principles for this Bible study. Here they are. Number one, all financial decisions for a Christian are spiritual decisions. Every time we’re thinking about a financial decision, when you think about why would God want me to do, and they need to be prayed about. Mary Jo, you and I are financial advisors. Someone needs to pray about what financial advisor they’re going to use. And is that financial advisor coming to them from a biblical viewpoint if they’re a Christian?

Mary Jo:
Absolutely, Bob, and we share that with clients all the time that they need to pray on every financial decision or at least those big ones and make sure that prayer is part of this process. The next one is our self worth should not be associated with our net worth. We are so much more than what our money indicates, and we just never want to lose sight of that.

Bob:
God loved you so much that he sent his son down to die on the cross for us. And to show us how to live a life of caring for others and loving each other. In America, you look at how big is your house? What kind of car do you drive? Many people do. And that is not what we’re worth. We’re worth so much more than that. It doesn’t have anything to do with financial. Our self worth is not associated with our net worth. The third one. We are managers, not owners. Again, just think of it that way. God is the owner and we’re managing it to be good stewards.

Mary Jo:
That’s right? We are called to be good stewards of all the resources that he has blessed us with. And we are to manage it to glorify the owner. And as we said before, God owns it all. Everything we do should be to the glory of God.

Bob:
We are a conduit of wealth. It’s like that dead sea again. Wealth is for flowing through us. It’s not to stay in us. We get it from God and it goes through us, and it goes right back out and helps others. It helps our families. It helps others that are in need. It helps the hungry, the sick, the poor, and you name it.

Mary Jo:
On the show today, our listeners can’t see you, but you should see Bob and his hand gestures. And it’s flowing through him.

Bob:
You’ve heard me say that. I mean, people have said, Bob, you should have been a preacher. And now you’re seeing preacher Bob come out, right, Mary Jo?

Mary Jo:
It’s funny. I can see you, but that the listeners can’t.

Bob:
Well, we’re going to start a vlog and they’ll be able to see my face every week then. We’re getting that going pretty soon.

Mary Jo:
Viewpoint one, “The Difference Between a Biblical and Secular Worldview”. We want to start with establishing what a biblical worldview is versus a secular worldview before we actually get to how we should handle money and wealth. And there’s a good reason for this. Bob, why don’t you share why it’s so important to set that foundation.

Bob:
Without a strong understanding of the difference between a biblical worldview and secular worldview for handling everything, especially wealth, the foundation can crumble. A scriptural principle for this is found in Matthew 7:25-27, “The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house. Yet it did not fall because it had its foundation on the rock, which is God’s word in Jesus Christ.”

Mary Jo:
“But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house. And it fell with a great crash.”

Bob:
In my many years of teaching and understanding a biblical worldview, when it comes to wealth – biblical wealth – it comes from God. We must understand and acknowledge that God is the one that gives it to us – the ability to work and create wealth. It belongs to God. Biblical wealth belongs to God. Everything, and I mean everything we have, belongs to God. Biblical wealth honors God. We must ask God for his guidance and submit our wealth under his authority. Biblical wealth should always be used wisely in how we spend it, save it, and invest it. Biblical wealth should always be distributed wisely through our giving and how we give it to the next generation. Biblical wealth is providing for those God has entrusted to us. It’s for supporting the church. It’s for spreading the gospel. It’s for sending out and supporting missionaries. It’s providing for God’s family. Biblical wealth is for feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, sheltering the homeless, healing the sick, educating the homeless, protecting the innocent, and providing for widows and orphans.

Mary Jo:
Whereas secular wealth is just the opposite. It’s all mine. Profit, regardless of morality. I don’t care what I invest in as long as it’s profitable, spend freely without regard to the future, keep up with the Joneses, buy the biggest house I can. There’s a lot of that going on around here. Buy as many toys as I can. Finance if I need to. Give generously, but do it in a very public way so everyone will know how generous I am. This just doesn’t sound too pretty, does it, Bob?

Bob:
I don’t think it does. As you can see, secular wealth is really just all about us and selfishness.

Mary Jo:
It is. A secular worldview puts me on a throne instead of God. It’s about what I want versus what God has commanded. Wouldn’t you say that’s right, Bob?

Bob:
I would say that is exactly right. Let’s look at three passages from God’s word and discuss the differences found in each one of these passages between a secular worldview and biblical worldview. If you happen to be listening and you’re not driving and you have a Bible close by. If you want to grab your Bible, and turn with us to Galatians 5:16-23 and Mary Jo’s going to read that for us.

Mary Jo:
“So I say, walk by the spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh, for the flesh desires what is contrary to the spirit and the spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other so that you are not to do whatever you want, but if you are led by the spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious – sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy, drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the Kingdom of God, but the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Against such things, there is no law.”

Bob:
Mary Jo in looking at this passage, did you notice there’s four words that have repeated several times, especially in verses 16 and 17?

Mary Jo:
Yes. I heard over again, spirit, flesh, contrary, and conflict. And these were found in the first two verses. In reviewing our notes for the show this morning, I realized how much we are talking about the spirit of the flesh. And in my mind, that’s just another way of saying temptation. Temptation can come in many forms, wouldn’t you say?

Bob:
I would, Mary Jo, and as you were reading off this passage, it comes in all these different forms of sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery, idolatry, wanting what others have, hatred, jealousy, fits of rage, and selfish ambition. It just lays it out. And I’m telling you, as you were reading that, I’m thinking I don’t want to have anything to do with all that. I want verse 22 and 23 of love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. That’s what I want. We’ve got to realize that there is a cosmic battle going on here.

Mary Jo:
I think it’s out there. It’s real.

Bob:
It’s not God is tempting us, but there’s an evil one out there and it’s Satan and the devil that’s tempting us to try to do things.

Mary Jo:
And when we were talking earlier, you shared a good joke. And I think you ought to share that with our listeners.

Bob:
Yeah. So I said, well kind of like Flip Wilson used to say, “The devil made me do it.”

Mary Jo:
I think we’re giving away our age once again.

Bob:
But ever day, we have a decision to make because there’s a spirit and the flesh, and there’s this constant battle going on against each other. And we have choices between choosing which one we’re going to follow. Is it going to be the flesh and doing it our own way? Are we going to submit under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and do it God’s way? Basically, we have a choice between choosing God’s viewpoint or a secular viewpoint.

Mary Jo:
I would just say to choose well. There’s another old saying, “you choose your choices”. Now, let’s look at Galatians 5 again, and look at what also speaks as a secular worldview. “The acts of the flesh are obvious – sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy, drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you as I did before that those who live like this will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”

Bob:
Mary Jo, there are 16 words in that passage that describe a secular worldview, and they don’t sound positive at all. Let’s look at the biblical world view from Galatians 5:22-23 again, and then I’m going to tell you how many words we’re looking at there.

Mary Jo:
“But the Fruit of the Spirit is love joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Against such things there is no law.”

Bob:
There’s nine words in that passage that describe a biblical worldview. And I tell you, they sound a lot more like the kind of people I’d like to hang around and be associated with.

Mary Jo:
Absolutely. We must be aligned with the spirit of God’s words. Our actions and our thinking must both be aligned this way. To stay in the spirit of God’s word, we must put aside the desires of the flesh. In other words, temptation, and just put that aside.

Bob:
Every day, we experienced choices between the flesh and doing it our way and the spirit and doing it God’s way. For the Christian, our worldview determines how we handle money and wealth, and a biblical world view should be the foundation for how we as Christians make all our financial decisions because a biblical worldview can be applied to everything we do, including how we handle money and wealth. Prayer and scripture should be applied to every major financial decision a Christian makes. Let’s look at a final passage for viewpoint number one from the Bible study, “Biblical Viewpoints of Money and Wealth”. And remember, if you would like to get a copy of this Bible study called “Biblical Viewpoints of Money and Wealth”, give us a call at (877) 718-7884. And we’ll tell you how to get a copy. Again, (877) 718-7884.

Mary Jo:
There’s this basic law that tells us how we should be living every day, and it comes from Exodus 20:1-17, “The 10 Commandments. “Then God spoke all these words saying, I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them for I the Lord, your God, am a jealous God visiting the inequity of the fathers on the children on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing loving kindness to thousands, to those who love me and keep my commandments. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes his name in vain. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it Holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it, you shall not do any work. You or your son or your daughter, your male and your female servant, or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days, the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them and rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it Holy. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land, which the Lord your God gives you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. And you shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” I think it just says don’t covet.

Bob:
Mary Jo, good job. That was a lot to go through there. And you did a fantastic job in bringing God’s word to us. And that was the 10 commandments in its entirety from Exodus 20:1-17. In these 10 Commandments, we truly see a secular and biblical world viewpoint throughout them. The biblical worldview, there’s one God.

Mary Jo:
Whereas the secular worldview, there’s many gods.

Bob:
The biblical worldview is you worship only God

Mary Jo:
In the secular worldview, worships idols and things

Bob:
Respect the name of God is a biblical worldview.

Mary Jo:
The secular worldview uses God’s name in vain.

Bob:
The biblical worldview is to remember the Sabbath.

Mary Jo:
Or has no respect for the Sabbath in the secular world.

Bob:
Well, we’re seeing a lot of that today aren’t we, Mary Jo? I remember when Sunday was so revered and we went to church and then we went and had our fried chicken. We didn’t do anything else the rest of the day, and all the stores are closed. Remember the blue laws of Texas?

Mary Jo:
I sure do. I remember how stringent HEB was, and then when they changed their rules and opened up on Sunday, that was a big deal. And then they started selling beer on Sunday afternoon. That was kind of an eye opener.

Bob:
Oh, it just seems like Sunday’s no different than the rest of the week.

Mary Jo:
It does my heart good when I drive by Chick-fil-A, and I see that they’re closed on Sundays. I love that they honor that.

Bob:
And Hobby Lobby is another one. The fifth of a biblical worldview honors parents.

Mary Jo:
And is secular worldview dishonors parents.

Bob:
The sixth one is pro-life. A biblical worldview is pro-life.

Mary Jo:
Pro choice, where anything goes, no consequences.

Bob:
Number seven, faithful to your spouse.

Mary Jo:
Or in a secular world, cheats on your spouse.

Bob:
Number eight, honest in everything that you do.

New Speaker:
Or you steal from others.

Bob:
Number nine, tells the truth.

Mary Jo:
In a secular worldview, it’s all about lies.

Bob:
And number 10, you’re content with what God’s given you and his provisions.

Mary Jo:
In a secular worldview, here we go again. We covet what others have. The struggle to understand the spiritual battle we all experience every day between a biblical worldview and a secular worldview. It’s real. It’s out there. We’re facing temptation constantly.

Bob:
So this is the foundation for the Bible study that I wrote called “Biblical Viewpoints of Money and Wealth”. And over the next six weeks, we’ll be covering the other six viewpoints on Christian Financial Perspectives. We’ll be looking at things like the difference between an owner and a manager, working and retirement, secular and biblical counsel, money and wealth, giving and blessings, and inheritance and leaving a legacy. In the meantime, you may order your own copy of the Bible study called “Biblical Viewpoints of Money and Wealth” through Google, Amazon, or by calling (877) 718-7884 or you can go to christianfinancialperspectives.com.

[DISCLOSURES]

Comments from today’s show are for informational purposes only and not to be considered investment advice or recommendations to buy or sell any company that may have been mentioned or discussed. The opinions expressed are solely those of the hosts, Bob Barber and Mary Jo Lyons. Bob and Mary Jo do not provide tax advice and encourage you to seek guidance from a tax professional. Investment advisory services offered through Christian Investment Advisors Inc. DBA Christian Financial Advisors, a registered investment advisor.