What the Bible Says About Saving
Have you ever asked these questions?
“Is saving an indication of a lack of faith?” “Do saving and hoarding go hand-in-hand?” “If we save, do we rob God of blessing us with His provision?” “What does the Bible really say about saving?”
God wants us to be savers. He wants us to have the resources we need to take care of our families and others. He also wants us to be in a position to serve Him so that He will be made known and honored. Saving does not represent a lack of faith, but it does reflect the heart of a faithful steward.
But the Bible does warn that saving to become self-reliant and take life easy is wrong.
Balancing your savings is an opportunity to honor God and experience His blessings.
There are many examples of good and bad savers in the Bible, and several lessons we can learn from each.
Lessons from the Israelites
In Exodus 16, the Israelites are wandering the desert – free from their slavery in Egypt but not yet to their final destination of the Promised Land. God, of course, provides for all their needs – He sends manna every morning for them to gather and feed their families. Exodus 16:17-18 illustrates the faithfulness of God and how he keeps His promises to us because every family had exactly what they needed.
But despite this miraculous provision, some still did not fully trust God. In Exodus 16:20, some of the people became greedy and let their fears take over – they gathered more manna than they needed for the day. It spoiled overnight and became infested with maggots – ruined, unable to be used. The same is true of our lives, and especially our money.
God will always provide for your needs. It may not appear in the way we expect, but He will always be faithful.
So when you try to hoard your savings and ignore the clear instruction of God, your money can infect you. God has a specific purpose for it and when we try to use it outside His will, we are faced with the consequences of our disobedience.
It’s hard in the moment, and you may feel like you are still wandering, not yet to the Promised Land. But remember that God will provide; remind yourself of all the times He has already proven His faithfulness in your life. Reject a spirit of greediness or fear that would tell you to hoard money or resources. Be diligent to save according to Scripture and trust that God sees your every need. And don’t sacrifice giving in order to save – you receive blessings and joy from giving!
Lessons from Joseph.
In Genesis 41 we read the story of Joseph and Pharaoh’s dream. God gives Pharaoh two dreams that Joseph interprets with the same meaning – 7 years of plenty are coming to the land of Egypt, followed by 7 years of famine.
Because of Joseph’s credibility and reputation, Pharaoh puts him in charge of the entire country. Joseph sets immediately to work, storing grain and resources during the 7 years of plenty. He organizes an entire country and works diligently in the present to save for the future.
And just like God had told them, the 7 years of plenty came to an end and the entire world is struck by famine. But Joseph had been so diligent to save that he was able to provide food for the surrounding countries during the famine.
He heeded the instruction of the Lord and followed through to be prepared. Joseph sacrificed some of the short-term comfort for the long-term needs. They probably weren’t eating a lot of steak dinners during the 7 years of plenty, and they also weren’t incurring any debt. Imagine the countless lives he saved by his steady plodding.
What a wonderful example of faithful stewardship and preparedness. We may not know what’s coming in 7 years, or 7 days, but we can always be faithful to prepare for the unexpected. We also learn from Joseph that our savings don’t only serve us, but others. As you save, think through the lens of provision AND generosity.
Even in the times of famine, God still wants us to give generously and be used for His purposes. God may use your savings to help others who weren’t prepared – be thankful and ready to share!
See, when God asks us to save, or give, it’s not because He needs it or because He can’t provide for us. It’s because it’s good for us.
Deuteronomy 29:5 reminds us that God cares about the big and the little things – while the Israelites were wandering the wilderness for 40 years, neither their clothes nor their sandals ever wore out.
Proverbs 6:6-8 encourages us to learn our savings habits from the lowly ant: “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.” This ant is one of the most famous stewards of all time!
When we understand stewardship, we understand our identity. It is more than something we do; we are stewards now and for eternity.
Establish a savings plan and work hard to sustain it. The Money Map is a helpful guide as you seek to understand what the Bible says about your life and finances. It will help you stay on the right track and keep your priorities straight.