Is it right to save money?

In one of the WhatsApp groups formed after Ekklesia, a beloved young man (hello Simon!) put forward a question, “Is saving money/wealth right according to the Word of God?” And as I was typing out my answer, I realized this had become big enough to be a blog and will probably be lost in the deluge of messages in a WhatsApp Group (We all know how that works!). So, here are my thoughts on this question:

Let’s consider the parable of the Master and the Talents that Jesus shared in Matthew 5:14-30.

The master gives one of his servant five, to one two and to another one talent(s) each. We all rightly interpret this portion to portray the spiritual gifts that our God gives us. Let us consider the literal interpretation of this story as well for this particular question.

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  • Now, many Bibles have a footnote which mentions, ‘A Talent was a monetary unit worth about twenty years’ wages for a labour’. So, what that master was giving out was basically wages for a lifetime (or more – 5×20=100 years of wages) to one, half a lifetime for another (2×20=40 years), and for a period for another (1×20=20 years). So in essence, master had that much of money in him, which we can safely assume was ‘saved’ by him, and not gathered suddenly on that particular day. That’s too much money to be receiving in a day, if it was!
  • And to each one was given, “according to his ability!” This means, the master was also looking at these servants to multiply it according to their ability. Two of them did, one did not. Know that when God gives some of His children material blessings, it’s according to their ability on what they can do with it. So, what has been handed to us in the form of material (& of course spiritual) blessings by God has not just to be saved, but used and increased further to be handed back to him! If we become the guy who hides it, we are just being lethargic (slothful) or just being a big miser. God doesn’t want either! In Proverbs 6:6-11, Solomon in his time of righteousness, tells us to learn from the ants. “Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.” In simple terms, ‘gather, store, but in due time, use!’
  • In verse 27, the master himself says that the servant should have ‘invested’ the money in the bank so that the master would have received ‘what was his own with interest’. Investments aren’t a taboo, if done with the right intentions. Remember, the money belongs to the Master, and He has every right to receive it back with interest.
  • Saving/Investing helps further the Kingdom. To the church in Corinth, Paul asks them to collect well in advance (the money to be given to the saints/church in Jerusalem) before he arrives so that they don’t have to run helter-skelter in the last minute to raise funds (1 Cor 16:2). 2 Corinthians Chapter 9 is a beautiful advice about collecting funds for the ministry. Again, this has to be done cheerfully, and not forced upon (verse 7). We read in Acts of the Apostles that the earliest Christians sold their property to give to the Lord. While nowhere do we read any command by our Lord to do this, they did it out of their own freewill and with joy. One other possible reason they sold off everything was this: They knew for a fact that Jerusalem will be destroyed as per the prophecy by Jesus (and it was, in AD 70), and there was no point in holding back that which was going to ‘be here today, and gone tomorrow.’ They invested that gladly into the Kingdom of God!
  • But ‘is giving to ministry the only reason to save?’ No. You need to glorify God by taking care of those allotted under your care. There are some who uses the Word as an excuse not to take care of their families or not to have any bank balance/accounts for churches. The Word says in Proverbs 13:22 – A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous. And Paul rebukes such a man in his letter to Timothy, “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8)
  • As far as the episode of manna is concerned, we must take into consideration the commandment by God before He rained down manna. “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.” Some Israelites clearly didn’t, and as a result of their disobedience, they found their manna to be feasted by maggots. Also do consider the fact that- Israelites, while coming out of Egypt, had ‘plundered’ the Egyptians (Exo 12:37) and had brought along with them their own flocks & wealth, apart from the gold, silver and clothes that the Egyptians gave them. So, they already had a lot of wealth (stored) with them when God decided to shower manna as food. The fact is that the Israelites refused to obey the instructions/commandment by God and failed the test. Sometimes, God may lead some people to live as per instructions like these to ‘test them’ and increase their faith. To them, such grace/gift has been given. But to others, he may give to save, to give back – double portion.
  • I love the portion in Mathew 6:25-34, and I try my best to live by this. It is indeed important for us not to worry about how our tomorrow will be. Leave that business to God. It does not, however, mean you should not ‘sow, reap, save,’ but rather, very importantly, that these things shouldn’t occupy your thoughts. There are many who worry over their finances and situations they face. Leave the worries of tomorrow to God and He shall provide.

But here is one thing that one should be very careful while or if you’re planning to save money:

There are those who would just be focused on just money. Such money-mindedness has no place in His Kingdom either. 1 Tim 6:10, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” Jesus Himself in Matthew 6:24 says, “You cannot serve both God and money!” These are the folks who ‘store up treasures for themselves on the earth’ for moths and rust to destroy and thieves to steal. Remember the servant who dug a hole to hide the talent? “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”(Matthew 6:21) For that ‘I dug a hole’ servant, his treasure was in that hole, but for the ones that multiplied, their heart was with their Master who was coming back soon! Where is your treasure? Where is your heart?

Gentle Reminder: It is God who giveth, it is for God that He giveth, and it is to God that we ought give back. But know for a fact, that we can never give more than what God has already given us, for when He gives, it’s ‘good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over.’ Want an example of His ‘running over giving’? Look at the cross!

Agree? Disagree? Got some points to add? Leave a comment and I will be happy to read, and if necessary, respond. God bless.


8 Comments

  1. Jijo Skariah

    Thank you achacha for this! You covered all the aspects that were essential on this topic!

    • Thanks da. Glad you found it useful. May the Lord enlighten you further in this topic.

  2. BLESSON ABRAHAM

    Awsome acacha

    • Thank you Blesson! God bless. May we lift His name high, even through our finances!

  3. Beautiful! We are accountable for every penny that we spend!
    Loved the last quote (reminder)😊
    GOD bless

  4. Thank you Blesson, good thoughts
    Obey God with what he is given you and trust him.when you focus on the needs of others, God will send an increase.giving is the key to Blessing

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