Financial Inequality and God’s Economic Cycles
America’s tragic history of injustice towards minority groups has created a wealth gap that needs to be addressed and specific efforts need to be made to close it. Not through redistribution programs, but by following a Biblical plan that does not depend on government intervention, but rather, personal initiative. God created a system, which if followed, will bring personal blessing and create a just system for all. This program can be taught in our churches to ensure God’s people are empowered for financial progress.
God did not intend for all to be equal when it comes to wealth distribution. If that were His plan, He would not have had to add the 10th commandment to warn us against coveting what our neighbor has that we do not have. Greed is wanting more of what I already have. Coveting is wanting what someone else has. God commanded us not to covet or to be greedy.
If equality was His goal, the parable of the talents in Matthew 25 would not speak of God distributing differing amounts of talents. In every field of human endeavor, there is a disparity between abilities and outcomes. Although God did not plan for economic equality, He does require us to seek to operate within a system of economic justice. This means everyone, Jew and Gentile alike, should be equally free to achieve the rewards of their efforts.
Micah 6:8 says, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Implementing God’s Economic Cycle
There is an economic cycle that we should follow to create financial health
and growth that God designed for our good. Let me lay it out step by step:
- Work – We work; God provides. If we are able to work but prefer not to, we will suffer. Work creates our source of income and financial foundation to build upon. Proverbs 14:23 –All hard work leads to profit, but mere talk leads to poverty. (NIV)
- Give – To honor the Lord for what He provides, we give first. We are created to be givers. This is our highest priority and should be done with joy and not under obligation. Proverbs 3:9 – Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops… (NIV)
- Save – After we give, we save a portion of all of our income. Repeat after me, “give first, save second.” God said that the tiny ant grows wise because they know how to save without a commander or overseer forcing them to do it. Proverbs 6:6 – Go to the ant you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise. (NIV)
- Spend – Our net spendable income is what we have leftover after we have done our giving and saving. Spending should never come first in our priorities. This is the money we use to pay taxes, eliminate debt, and support our lifestyles. Proverbs 21:20 – The wise man saves for the future but the foolish
man spends whatever he gets. (TLB)
- Invest – This is money that is placed at risk to enable you to receive a return on your earnings. It is also money that grows to enable you to start a business, own shares in companies that create jobs, and build capacity to plan for the future. Ecclesiastes 11: 2 – Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land. (NIV)
Work, Give, Save, Spend, Invest
If you practice these financial habits, in that order, your personal economy will always be in good shape. But something else happens in this cycle that cannot be missed. You are helping other people grow and improve their economy too! Follow along with me through that list again.
When you work, you contribute to the well-being of a customer who receives the product or service you produce, and the owner of the company grows its bottom line because of your efforts. This creates more jobs and more opportunities.
When you give, you expand God’s kingdom and help those who cannot work and therefore need our charitable help. You eliminate inequalities and show compassion to the least of these.
When you save, you create financial stability, so you are able to buy a home, avoid debt, and build a sustainable future for you and/or your family. You demonstrate wisdom and the essential fruit of the Spirit, self-control.
When you spend, you support the companies that provide the goods and services you need so they can continue to operate. Consumer spending puts money back into the economy, so it benefits other businesses and their employees.
When you invest, you risk money to try new things, produce innovative solutions, and find new ways to improve lives. Even a failed investment produces useful knowledge of what did not work. Investing ensures the entire economic cycle continues to spin and grow more opportunities for others.
The more individual cycles that are spinning in a nation, the better the health of that national economy. The fewer of these cycles spinning, the poorer the nation. Now you know why free societies seek to obtain very low levels of unemployment. Without jobs, the entire cycle breaks down.
Looking back at the cycle again, if any of these steps breaks down, pain will result in your personal life as well as in your community and nation. In other words, we each need to have a strong personal economy so that others can benefit and be blessed with jobs from our economic activity.
When we each follow God’s cycle, it creates economic growth and blessing for others. This closes the wealth gap, breaks dependency, and brings a just system for all. I hope you will learn more about this plan, implement it in your life and take it to others in your family, church, or business.
This article was originally published on Beliefnet, June, 2020.