The Bible’s Viewpoint
What Is the Wise View of Money?
“MONEY is for a protection,” says the Bible. (Ecclesiastes 7:12) Because it pays for food, clothing, and shelter, money serves as a protection against the hardships associated with poverty. Indeed, in a material way, money can buy practically anything. It “meets a response in all things,” says Ecclesiastes 10:19.
God’s Word encourages us to work hard so that we have the means to provide for ourselves and our families. (1 Timothy 5:8) Honest, hard work rightly engenders feelings of satisfaction, dignity, and security.—Ecclesiastes 3:12, 13.
Additionally, our hard work enables us to be generous in a financial way. “There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving,” said Jesus. (Acts 20:35) Such happiness results when we cheerfully use our finances to help the needy, especially fellow Christians, or to purchase a gift for someone we love.—2 Corinthians 9:7; 1 Timothy 6:17-19.
Jesus encouraged his followers to be generous, not merely on rare occasions but as a habit, as a way of life. “Practice giving,” he said. (Luke 6:38) The same principle applies to giving in order to advance the interests of God’s Kingdom. (Proverbs 3:9) Indeed, our generosity in this way helps us to “make friends” of Jehovah and his Son.—Luke 16:9.
Beware of “the Love of Money”
Selfish people rarely give, and when they do, it may be with an ulterior motive. Their problem often is the love of money, which, contrary to their expectations, usually brings unhappiness. “The love of money is a root of all sorts of injurious things, and by reaching out for this love some have been led astray from the faith and have stabbed themselves all over with many pains,” says 1 Timothy 6:10. Why is the love of money so unsatisfying and even hurtful?
For one thing, a greedy person’s appetite for wealth is insatiable. “A mere lover of silver will not be satisfied with silver,” says Ecclesiastes 5:10. Hence, money lovers ‘stab themselves’ with endless frustration. Moreover, their greed contributes to poor relationships, unhappy family life, and even lack of proper rest. “Sweet is the sleep of the one serving, regardless of whether it is little or much that he eats; but the plenty belonging to the rich one is not permitting him to sleep.” (Ecclesiastes 5:12) Above all, the love of money earns God’s disfavor.—Job 31:24, 28.
Biblical and secular history contain many examples of people who stole, perverted justice, prostituted themselves, committed murder, betrayed others, and lied—all for money. (Joshua 7:1, 20-26; Micah 3:11; Mark 14:10, 11; John 12:6) During his earthly ministry, Jesus invited a “very rich” young ruler to follow him. Sadly, the man declined this wonderful invitation because it would hurt him financially. In response, Jesus exclaimed: “How difficult a thing it will be for those having money to make their way into the kingdom of God!”—Luke 18:23, 24.
During the present “last days,” Christians must especially be on guard because people in general are, as foretold, “lovers of money.” (2 Timothy 3:1, 2) True Christians who remain conscious of their spiritual need are not swept along with this wave of greed, for they possess something far superior to money.
Something Better Than Money
While stating that money serves as a protection, King Solomon added that “wisdom is for a protection” because it “preserves alive its owners.” (Ecclesiastes 7:12) What did he mean? Solomon was here pointing to the wisdom that is based on an accurate knowledge of the Scriptures and on a wholesome fear of God. Superior to money, such godly wisdom can save a person from countless pitfalls in life and even from a premature death. Also, like a crown, true wisdom exalts those possessing it and wins them respect. (Proverbs 2:10-22; 4:5-9) And because it contributes to the gaining of God’s favor, it has been called “a tree of life.”—Proverbs 3:18.
Those who sincerely want such wisdom, and who are willing to search for it, find that it is readily available. “My son, if you . . . call out for understanding itself and you give forth your voice for discernment itself, if you keep seeking for it as for silver, and as for hid treasures you keep searching for it, in that case you will understand the fear of Jehovah, and you will find the very knowledge of God. For Jehovah himself gives wisdom; out of his mouth there are knowledge and discernment.”—Proverbs 2:1-6.
Because they attribute more value to wisdom than to money, true Christians enjoy a measure of peace, happiness, and security that eludes money lovers. Says Hebrews 13:5: “Let your manner of life be free of the love of money, while you are content with the present things. For [God] has said: ‘I will by no means leave you nor by any means forsake you.’” Money affords no such security.
HAVE YOU WONDERED?
▪ How does money serve as a protection?—Ecclesiastes 7:12.