THE FAMILY AND MONEY
(H.G. Bishop Moussa)
Although money is a gift from God and has an important role in our lives, yet it is a root cause of all the recent conflicts at the individual, family, and international levels.
For this reason the Bible established basic principles for
using money to promote human happiness and serve mankind.
These principles have been defined to prevent us from making
money into another god and worshipping it. So what are
1. Money Is A Gift
"God ... gives us richly all things to enjoy" (1Tim 6:17).
So whatever the material income we have may be, it is a real
gift from God. In fact, if God hadn't given us life we
would not have received that money and unless He had given
us scientific, practical and technical abilities we couldn't
have gotten anything. Not only that, if He hadn't given us
health we couldn't have used the different parts of our
bodies in producing what brings money to us: for example a
painter uses hands, an engineer uses eyes, a player uses
feet and so on.
Therefore, the Bible teaches us to talk to God when we offer
alms for helping the poor or the church, saying: "All
things come from You, and of Your own we have given You"
2. Money Is Not Essential For Life
God said: "One's life does not consist in the abundance of
the things he possesses" (Lk 12:15), and He also said "Man
shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that
proceeds from the mouth of God" (Mt 4:4). "For in Him we
live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28).
Hence life - and health too - is a gift from God.
Therefore, whatever we spend or however far we travel, our
own efforts to enjoy a good life and good health will end in
failure - because life is His and health is His too.
3. Money Is Not Essential For Happiness
"Better is a dry morsel with quietness, than a house full of
feasting with strife" (Prov 17:1). Happiness is a spiritual
and psychological quality which comes from a living
relationship with God: a soul at peace, a mind at rest,
knowing God's forgiveness, and genuine love of all people
whoever and whatever they may be.
From this logical concept we can see how hard it is to buy
happiness with money: in fact money has brought sadness to
those who have a great deal of it. They rest all their
hopes on investing or keeping it, but sometimes they destroy
themselves by chasing a false happiness.
4. Money Is Transitory
St. Paul says: "Command those who are rich in this present
age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but
in the living God" (1Tim 6:17).
This verse is true: money is uncertain. It may come today
and go tomorrow. You may get a fortune today and lose it
very quickly again when circumstances change. Money is a
dynamic thing. So we must be cautious of it: depending on
it could cause a nervous breakdown.
5. Money Is A Talent
The Bible commands those who are rich to "Do good, that they
may be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share,
storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to
come" (1Tim 6:18-19).
So what is required is to invest money for the glory of
Jesus Christ and the comfort and salvation of fellow human
beings, especially those who share with us in faith. "It is
more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). The
more we give, the more we are increased in blessings. "The
generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also
be watered himself" (Prov 11:25). In fact some who are rich
have also been rich in faith and offered great service to
We are stewards over "unrighteous mammon" (Lk 16:1-15).
This means that money is not ours, but a gift from God.
Think of the unjust steward who used worldly wealth to make
friends. Although this money was not his, but his master's,
he used it to win friends and influence people. The unjust
steward's behavior was wrong in that he had used what he did
not have, yet God orders us to learn from "the people of
this age", to invest the money which He has given us for the
purpose of having prayerful friends. God has entrusted us
with our money so we must use it conscientiously. We use
what we need and leave what we don't to the will of God, Who
may use it in coping with an emergency.
Therefore, God warns us about being wasteful: "The drunkard
and the glutton will come to poverty" (Prov 23:21). He
encourages us to take up the pieces left over to serve
others (Mt 15:37).
6. Don't Depend On Money!
Depending on money is a denial of God. The Lord said: "How
hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the
kingdom of God!" (Mk 10:24), or as Job said: "If I had made
gold my hope, or said to fine gold 'You are my confidence'
... I would have denied God Who is above" (Job 31:24-28).
So the problem lies in considering money as a pillar of life
and a support for the future. Yet this doesn't mean we
don't save, as saving is different from depending on money.
Saving means keeping the money we don't need and offering it
to God to use it according to His own will either for
service or for unforeseen circumstances.
So we must believe that God is essentially our sole
Supporter, but money is not: "He who trusts in his riches
will fall" (Prov 11:28).
7. Don't Crave For Money!
Those who love money fall into a lot of evils, such as
theft, embezzlement, and illegal practices, because they
want to be rich. "Those who desire to be rich fall into
temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful
lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the
love of money is the root of all kinds of evil" (1Tim 6:9-
So when God said: "No servant can serve two masters ... you
cannot serve both God and mammon" (Lk 16:13), He meant that
the love of money is opposed to the worship of God.
8. Enough Is Enough!
People are always trying to improve their personal income.
They keep changing jobs looking for a higher income, but the
main aim must be to have enough, not to live in luxury.
There is really a great difference between the two:
"Godliness with contentment is great gain" (1Tim 6:6); "Be
content with such things as you have" (Heb 13:5). "God is
able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always
having all sufficiency in all things, have an abundance for
every good work" (2Cor 9:8).
Satisfaction should be the norm: "Give us this day our
daily bread." This is what makes for a contented life lived
for the glory of God. God does not want us to be miserable,
but to be happy. He gives us the right to be satisfied.
But as for pleasure: "She who lives in pleasure is dead
while she lives" (1Tim 5:6).
And as for what people admire and run after: "All that is
in the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes,
and the pride of life - is not of the Father but is of the
world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it"
9. Planning The Budget
A Christian must plan the budget for the family. A couple
must honestly collect their money together and budget for
their needs according to their priorities:
For God: the 'firstlings' or the
first portion of everything we produce,
the tithe or tenth, and the vows.
For each partner: a suitable sum of
money for personal expenses.
For the family: its daily and
For the children: a family must plan a
better future for its children.
For the parents: when they have a
For savings: we must allow God to
act according to His will either for the
family or for others.
The spirit of understanding, love, justice and righteousness
must prevail among us. There's no doubt that a lot of
families break up because of money, even though it should
not carry so much weight in our lives.
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