Two maxims underlie the Bible’s principles of financial responsibility; the earth and its resources belong to God (Lev 25:23; Job 41:11; Pss 24:1; 89:11; Hag 2:8), and they have been entrusted to people to use wisely (Gen 1:29-30; 9:1-4). The overall message of the Bible regarding finances is one of personal thrift combined with generosity toward others. The Bible places a high value on saving money to provide for oneself and others in times of need (Gen 41:1-57; Prov 6:6-8; 21:20; Eccles 11:2; Luke 12:16-21; 1 Cor 16:2). Because God blessed those

who give to others (Deut 15:10; Ps 112:5; Prov 11:25; 22:9; Mal 3:10; 2 Cor 9:6-12), the willingness to give generously (Matt 25:31-46; 2 Cor 8:3) and without thought of return (Deut 15:11; 23:19; Pss 15:5; Matt 5:42; Luke 6:34; Rom 11:35) is considered a mark of financial responsibility. Those who save to provide only for themselves, or are unable to save because of extravagant spending, are held to be foolish (Job 20:20-22; Prov 21:20).

Other marks of financial responsibility include careful financial planning (Prov 27:23-27), hard work (Prov 28:19; Eph 4:28; 2 Thess 3:10; cp Prov 24:33-34), diversification of investments (Eccles 11:2), paying debts when they become due (Prov 3:27-28), providing for one’s family (1 Tim 5:8), and leaving an inheritance to one’s children (Num 27:7-11; Prov 13:22; cp Ruth 4:6; Eccles 5:13-14).

Jesus’ stewardship parables speak of financial responsibility as a precursor of greater areas of responsibility in the kingdom of God (Matt 25:14-30; Luke 16:1-13; 19:11-27)

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