I love the TV show Shark Tank. I recently watched an episode and one of the business mogul's (I won't name names!) struck me saying, "The most important thing in this world is money." Let that sink in. At best, it was a cute quip for TV. At worst, it's his worldview. The world respects this idea, biblical manhood lives differently.
In this post, I want to distinguish the men from the boys. Biblical manhood understands the money you have is not your own. These are the top five things biblical manhood does with money.
My pastor recently explained, if you have access to the following, you are incredibly wealthy:
- clean water
- a roof
- your immediate needs met
- transportation (a bus or car)
- one book
Matthew 6:21 says, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Thankfully, God is not silent about money. Let's look at the biblical truths about money that can lead to a fulfilling life, no matter how much—or how little—financial wealth flows through our hands.
Oh, tithing, what should I write? I'll tell you what. I'll do my best to answer questions I think you'd ask about tithing. You're welcome in advance!
Where do we tithe? To and through the local church. The church feeds the poor and does God's mission. Argue with me! ; )
When do we tithe? Short answer: Regularly. There should be a clear pattern. You get paid bi-weekly. Don't complicate it, give bi-weekly. Get in the habit of giving when you get.
How much do we tithe? Consult your local biblical scholar. Old testament has lots to say about the tithe. Folks smarter than I have researched the first, second and third-year tithe. Between the first-fruit offering and free-will offerings -- conservatively -- you're looking at anywhere between 10 to 23+ percent. Have fun with that. A few Scriptures to ponder are Leviticus 19; 27:30, Exodus 23; 24; 35 and 36.
What's the point of tithing? God wants His people to put Him before money. Tithes and offerings are not just God’s plan for financing His work. They are a means by which the Lord develops the heart of His people. When we give sacrificially without expectation of anything in return, we acknowledge that all we have and all we are belong to God.
A few principles we teach in our father and son Bible study about the tithe:
- A tithe generally means a tenth, though that amount is not set in stone. (Leviticus 27:32)
- A tithe is meant to honor the Lord, not just deprive us of material things. (Deuteronomy 14:22-23)
- A tithe is the first, or best part of what you earn or produce. (Proverbs 3:9)
- God provided for certain people through the tithe. (Deuteronomy 26:12)
When should you start tithing? Right now. As in, today. You'll wonder where I stand on tithing if I don't tell you now. Here's my stance: Give now. Did you make $10 this week? Awesome. Give $1+ to the church in joyful worship understanding that God allowed you to come in contact with that $10. Biblical manhood tithes.
What’s the difference between a tithe and a gift? We owe God a tithe, but a gift goes beyond obligation; it’s an act of love, even a sacrifice to God or another person.
Those still reading will think, "Oh, tithing was sooooo Old Testament." Well, in the New Testament, we don’t see specific commandment to tithe. Sadly for the greedy, money-hoarders reading this post, we see examples that go beyond tithing—to selling all of our possessions or giving everything away (Acts 2:42-47 and Acts 4:32-38).
This thinking may be helpful. When you tithe, you're just getting started. Work in such a way that you can help someone or something out—beyond the tithe. What will I teach my son? By God's grace, I'll teach him that while we don't give to get—when we get, we should give.
Scripture to consider:
- "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." —2 Corinthians 9:7
- “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” —Matthew 7:9–12
Whether you have lots of money or little, it's important to teach your son the value and responsibility of earning money. You work—you get money. That said, there's a ton of Scripture that talks about work and responsibility.
Here are two verses and I'll move on for now:
- "Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth." —Proverbs 10:4
- "Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness." —Proverbs 23:4
Live by example to your family about how you use your time and talents and work. These areas of life are opportunities to be grateful for work and responsibility to earn money. Then, once you earn money, do the right thing with it.
Do you think God wants us to enjoy our money? Sure. But, I don't think this area is a problem for most of us. So, I won't talk long about this point.
Just know these verses and let them guide how you enjoy your wealth:
- "Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil— this is a gift of God." —Ecclesiastes 5:19
- "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment." —1 Timothy 6:17
It’s okay to enjoy material things and the wealth God provides. But we are not to pursue these things or let them become idols in our lives. If God provides something, we enjoy it. If He doesn’t, we rely on Him to meet our needs. The end. Jump to number five.
Do you have anything cool at home that your father or grandfather gave you as a special keepsake? My dad hasn't passed or anything, but one of the coolest things I have from him is a few pocket knives. When I see one, anywhere, I think of my dad.
In Scripture, inheritances were usually passed on in the form of property.
- Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers. —Job 42:15
What's the big deal? When saving money becomes about how you can leave a legacy for your kids or future generations—instead of that next thing you want to buy—this is when you ultimately move from being a boy to being a man. Dare I say, it's part of intentionally discipling your son.
God can be trusted with your kids, your home, your money—everything. It's already His. Don't waste your money. Start at number one on this list and work your way down. The Bible says live with contentment and give joyfully. If you take nothing from this post, remember this: Biblical manhood understands your money is not your own. Understand that, then teach it to your family by what you say and what you do. Where's the profit in gaining the world, but losing your soul?
Homework for dad
Sit down with your family and ask these questions:
1. Do you think our family loves money too much? Why?
2. Are there any expenses we can cut?
3. Is there anything we need to save for?
4. Who can we give money to that really needs it?
Lots of this post comes from our father-son Bible study on biblical stewardship called Kingdom Treasure.
In this guide, fathers and sons learn:
Week #1 > How Satan and God view money
Week #2 > Defending against counterfeits
Week #3 > What to do with money
Week #4 > The first two laws of giving
Week #5 > The third law of giving
Week #6 > The fourth law of giving
Do you and your son know how to handle money? You can teach your son how to handle money through the right conversations. This guide will help.
Ryan Sanders is the Director of Outreach at Manhood Journey. Ryan is married to Tonia and they have three children. He serves at McLean Bible Church in Washington, DC as a Lay Pastor and is a diehard Redskins fan. Learn more about Ryan here and follow him on Twitter @RyanSanders.