The book of Proverbs is considered one of the Wisdom Books of Hebrew Scripture.
Proverbs teaches wisdom to all. From young to old, poor to rich, inexperienced to experienced, no one is excluded from the wisdom in this book. It provides instructions on how to live a happy and peaceful life, by honor and respecting God. This book offers advice on a wide range of subjects, including finances.
Here are 12 Proverbs about how to make money, maintain wealth, and steward your finances.
1. Give to God first.
We’re called to give to God first. That means before we pay our monthly bills, go on any shopping trips, or make the plunge on buying that item you’ve been eyeing for a while. God calls us to bring the first and best part of everything we produce to Him. This doesn’t mean that you have to make a huge financial sacrifice each time you give. Remember, God cares more about the heart behind the gift. He loves a cheerful giver and will reward this type of generosity.
“Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. Then He will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.” –Proverbs 3:9-10
2. Nothing is ours. It all belongs to God.
Everything we are and everything we have on this earth has been given and made by God. The Lord doesn’t favor the rich more than the poor or the poor more than the rich. His rules apply to us all equally, no exceptions or exemptions. We are all called to be good stewards of the time, talent, and treasures God has entrusted to us.
“Rich and poor have this in common: the Lord is the Maker of them all.” –Proverbs 22:2
3. Earthly treasures will quickly disappear but eternal treasures are everlasting.
Don’t get so focused on earthly treasures that you forget to build your heavenly ones. Jesus warns us of this in Matthew 9:19-20. Money, designer clothes, big houses, fancy cars, everything of this world will vanish one day. We can’t take anything we accumulate here with us to Heaven. But what will last are the heavenly, eternal rewards the Lord gives us for faithfully following Him.
“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off like an eagle.” –Proverbs 23:4-5
4. The Lord protects the meek.
Luke 21:1-4 tells us the story of the Widow’s Mite. A poor widow who sacrificially gave her last two coins to the church while many wealthy men gave incredibly large sums in abundance around her.
Jesus said, “Truly I tell you this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
Don’t be distracted by those wealthier than you or who give more than you. Fix your eyes on Jesus. He saw the sacrifice of the widow and honored her for it. Just like He sees your sacrifice and will reward you for it.
“The Lord tears down the house of the proud but maintains the widow’s boundaries.” –Proverbs 15:25
5. Be humble.
God wants us to be cheerful givers, but to not brag or boast.
Generosity is not truly sacrificial if you’re bragging to everyone around you about your latest good deeds. God wants you to give to all, but in secret. Not because of the recognition or praise you receive for others.
“The Lord detest all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: they will not go unpunished.” –Proverbs 16:5
6. Don’t compare yourself to others.
At some point, we’ve all tried to keep up with the Joneses. Things like social media make it easy to fall into the comparison trap. We see a life that others want to portray- fancy houses, new cars, lavish vacations. We see this, we want it, and we feel a pressure to keep up with our peers. But God warns us against this. He encourages us to fix our eyes on Him and not material riches of this world that will one day vanish.
“Do not envy sinners, but always continue to fear the Lord. You will be rewarded for this; your hope will not be disappointed.” –Proverbs 23:17-18
7. Prevent temptations to dishonor the Lord.
In this next Proverb, we see Agur asking God to remove vain thoughts, turn his eyes from vanity, and detach worldly pleasures from his affections. But we also see something else. We see Agur asking God to give him only his daily bread.
Agur desires to be somewhere in the middle of rich and poor. He realizes that both poverty and wealth bring their own temptations. Temptations he wants to avoid at all costs. Just like Agur, ask God to guard your heart and open your eyes to the temptations present in your current situation. Continue seeking the Lord first in all you do.
“Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.” –Proverbs 30:8-9
8. Don’t be afraid to work.
The Bible says there’s a time for everything- for rest, war, peace, tears, and rejoicing. Work is no exception to this. God wants us to pray to Him and ask Him for what we need. But, He also wants us to put in the work to get it. This means praying for a new job AND deliberately making new network connections to help you get it. This means praying for that new promotion AND putting in the extra effort to show management you’re fit for the position. This means praying AND using the wisdom and discernment the Lord has given you to make decisions on whether something is worth pursuing or not.
“Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuit lacks sense.” –Proverbs 12:11
9. God cares about the heart behind the gift.
Maybe you’re looking at your paycheck this month thinking there’s no way I can make ends meet. Or maybe you’re looking at your paycheck this month surprised and pleased that you have a little bit left over to put into savings or spend on something extra. Whatever your situation may be, we’ve all had the thought of what we could do with more money.
And while more money is nice, it isn’t everything. We’ve all heard stories of lottery winners who lost their money almost as quickly as they got it. Or people who get caught up in get rich quick schemes only to be in legal trouble later. With wealth comes great temptation. Dishonesty causes money to dwindle away. But the Lord promises to reward His children who earn money honestly and give generously. It doesn’t matter if you earn a little or a lot. It doesn’t matter if you give a little or a lot. What matters is your heart behind your earnings and generosity.
“Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.” –Proverbs 13:11
10. Plan ahead.
Before you begin anything, make sure you have sufficient resources to finish it. This is true for a farmer preparing his fields to plant and harvest. It’s also true for someone now preparing to build a house. Be wise with your finances. Look ahead, plan for unforeseen expenses, and don’t begin projects until you’re sure you have what it needs to see it all the way through.
“Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.” –Proverbs 24:27
11. There is success in store for you.
God guarantees success for those who walk in His light. His version of success may look different than yours, but that’s okay. What He has in store for us is far better than what we could ever plan or imagine for ourselves.
Follow His Word, give cheerfully and generously, and hold tight to your faith. The Lord declares His plans for you, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).” God is preparing you for those plans now. He is setting everything in motion. Continue to faithfully follow Him and you will prosper.
“He holds success in store for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk is blameless, for He guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.” –Proverbs 2:7-8
12. Our relationship with God is what makes us rich, not money.
It’s easy to get caught up in all the things we don’t have or only focus on all the things we wish we had. But when is the last time you stopped to think about all the things you do have?
The Lord has already blessed all of us abundantly. He sacrificed His Son for us and He continues to give us what we need every day. What truly makes us rich is our relationship with Him, not the material possessions of this world.
“The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.” –Proverbs 10:22