“The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.” (Proverbs 10:22)
Financial guru Dave Ramsey is renowned for his practical biblical money principles that teach people how to manage their finances. Ramsey builds his popular financial advice on timeless wisdom from the Bible. Ramsey’s tenets provide a solid foundation for Christians seeking to manage their finances through wise stewardship, leading to prosperity. This article will explore five essential biblical money principles Dave Ramsey recommends for building wealth and walking in financial peace. Discover budgeting guidelines, debt elimination tactics, relationship advice, saving and investing tips, and keys to generous living that align with biblical values based on its verses. Whether starting from scratch or emerging from financial hardship, these proven principles based on the Bible will transform how you handle money.
Ramsey points to five essential principles from Scripture that serve as the foundation for building wealth and living generously.
Five biblical principles of money management:
- Get on a budget – Live on a written budget every month. Be intentional and plan.
- Get out of debt – Stop borrowing money. Pay off all debt. The borrower is the servant of the lender.
- Build relationships – Surround yourself with people who share your values and goals. You become like those you associate with.
- Save and invest – Be wise and save up an emergency fund. Invest for the future and retirement.
- Be generous – Give to your church. Donate to charity. Have a generous spirit. God loves a cheerful giver.
1. Get on a budget
Having a written budget and living within your means is vital to being a wise steward of the resources God has given you. As Proverbs 27:23 (KJV) states, “Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks and look well to thy herds.” Tracking your income and expenditures through a monthly budget helps you gain control of your finances.
Ramsey notes that every dollar must be accounted for on paper before the month begins. Otherwise, we tend to be impulsive and make foolish decisions, as Proverbs 14:17 (KJV) warned: “He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.” Praying for provision while continuing to mismanage money is illogical. Just as God judged the lazy servant who did not correctly invest his talent (Matthew 25:14-30), we cannot expect financial blessings if we are irresponsible stewards.
“For it is as when a man, going into another country, called his own servants and delivered unto them his goods.
And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one; to each according to his several ability; and he went on his journey.
Straightway, he that received the five talents went and traded with them and made other five talents. In like manner, he also that received the two gained other two.
But he that received the one went away and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
Now, after a long time, the lord of those servants cometh and maketh a reckoning with them.
And he that received the five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: lo, I have gained other five talents. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
And he also that received the two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: lo, I have gained other two talents. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
And he also that had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou didst not sow, and gathering where thou didst not scatter; and I was afraid, and went away and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, thou hast thine own.
But his lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I did not scatter; thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the bankers, and at my coming, I should have received back mine own with interest.
Take ye away therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him that hath the ten talents. For unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not, even that which he hath shall be taken away.
And cast ye out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.” (ASV)
The above parable is meant to teach the Christian principle of being a wise steward of your money and talents. Prospering using your capital, skills, and work ethic is biblical.
The first step is making the firm decision to start budgeting consistently. You may have to cut up credit cards and change habits, but living on a plan allows you to tell your money where to go rather than wondering where it went. Over time, a budget maximizes resources for essential priorities like getting out of debt and saving.
2. Get out of debt
“The rich ruleth over the poor; and the borrower is servant to the lender.” (Proverbs 22:7). (Darby translation)
To achieve financial peace and freedom in the future, it’s prudent to eliminate all consumer debt through focused repayment plans. Ramsey warns against the slavery of car loans, credit cards, and other debt that keeps us sacrificing our future wealth to service debt payments. Debt distracts from productive saving and generously giving to others.
Some take on debt, assuming they always have a monthly car or credit card bill. However, the wise path is refusing to take on any new obligation and paying off existing balances as swiftly as possible. Downgrading lifestyles, working extra jobs, and budgeting intensely can wipe out debt rapidly. Living simply within your means frees up cash flow for the future.
While the borrower is a servant to the lender, the debtor can build their own wealth once they eliminate their debt payments. Walking in financial freedom makes you more generous and aligns your priorities with Christian teachings.
3. Build relationships
Surround yourself with wise counsel and like-minded friends who will encourage you to make good decisions. As Proverbs 13:20 (KJV) warns, “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” Your income, habits, morals, vocabulary, and more are shaped by those you live with.
Instead of assuming you can positively influence others, Ramsey advises choosing relationships that will pull you higher. Let go of friendships with those who make poor choices. Seek out mentors who are walking in financial wisdom and generosity. Their good example will motivate you to grow.
Marriage and parenting require even more discernment. Choose a spouse with shared values and teach children biblical principles. Ramsey suggests having a potential date night with your spouse, spending time with your parents regularly, and keeping wayward friends away from impressionable kids. Proactively set the next generation up for success.
4. Save and invest
Part of being a good steward is saving up an emergency fund and investing wisely for the future. “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.” (Proverbs 13:22 KJV)
Ramsey stresses saving for unexpected situations and long-term goals like retirement, college, and real estate. Do not presume the government or others will provide for you. The Bible praises the ant who stores up for winter (Proverbs 6:6-8):
“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways and be wise: which having no chief, overseer, or ruler, provideth her bread in the summer, [and] gathereth her food in the harvest.”
Investment vehicles like 401(k)s, mutual funds, and rental properties allow money to grow over time. Though market returns are not guaranteed, over the long haul, assets compound significantly. Starting early and consistently adding to investments makes a significant impact.
Though saving requires deferred gratification, the peace and security it provides are worthwhile. Use wisdom to steward funds beyond your lifetime to bless generations to come.
5. Be generous
God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7 KJV). A generous spirit with your time, talents, and money is rewarded in this life.
Ramsey highlights tithing to your local church as the jumping-off point for radical generosity. Look for ways to give secretly and meet the needs around you. Allow your spirit to cultivate a heart of compassion.
Helping people provides meaning and joy beyond material success. As your financial position improves, be increasingly generous and make philanthropy a family legacy. Your giving breaks the power of money over you.
Generosity displays your Christian character and is the best public example you can give of your faith. Christians should reflect generosity in all areas of life. The blessings you have received are meant to be shared with others.
- Make a financial plan – Construct a monthly budget to direct your income intentionally. Monitoring cash flow is fundamental.
- Eliminate debt – Stop borrowing and pay off what you owe to attain freedom. Debt creates unnecessary burdens.
- Choose relationships carefully – Surround yourself with wise counsel who make smart money choices. Avoid foolish associations.
- Save and grow money – Set aside funds for the unexpected and invest to build wealth long-term. Compounding growth secures the future.
- Cultivate generosity – Tithe faithfully and give abundantly to bless others. True prosperity uses wealth to serve.
We covered five foundational principles from the Bible and finance expert Dave Ramsey to help anyone steward their finances wisely. Strategic budgeting, accelerated debt repayment, selective relationships, proactive saving, and lavish generosity foster stability, growth, and fulfillment. Applying these precepts consistently over time leads to financial freedom, security for one’s household, and the means to fund churches and charities generously.
Let these proven biblical money principles guide you in your finances. With wisdom, self-control, and faithfulness, you can walk in financial freedom and use money to impact your life and others.
Entire Dave Ramsey sermon on proven biblical money principles here.