Personal Finance in the Bible: Proverbs 21:20

August 4, 2010 — 3 Comments

Bible with Cross Shadow by knowhimonline on Flickr       Today’s Personal Finance Bible Scripture comes from Proverbs 21:20.

   20 In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil,
       but a foolish man devours all he has.

Proverbs 21:20 (NIV)

       Same verse but in the New Living Translation:

   20 The wise have wealth and luxury,
       but fools spend whatever they get.

Proverbs 21:20 (NLT)

       I chose two translations because I think together they clearly tell us what this verse is saying. The wise save up some of their earnings, but fools spend everything they get.

       When talking about contentment and giving in the Bible, I’ve had people ask me if Christians should even save up money for emergencies or retirement. If we save, aren’t we relying on ourselves or our money instead of God? But, as with many things, it really depends on the motives in our hearts.

       If we’re saving up because we don’t think God can provide or we don’t trust in God’s provision, then we’re obviously serving money and not God. But God clearly tells us several times in the Bible that the wise save up some of their money. The wise do not spend everything they get, and the wise prepare for trouble they see coming ahead.

       God can take care of us in any situation, but He teaches us that it is wise to save up when we see that we’ll have a need in the future. This is why I don’t think God is against us having emergency funds or saving for a time in our lives when we won’t be able to work for pay. I’m not sure God wants us saving for things that don’t glorify Him, like a retirement where we golf every day or travel around the world purely for pleasure. It’s the same with anything really. If it doesn’t glorify God, there’s probably a good chance we should rethink it.

       The next time you want to spend all of your paycheck or when the money in your pocket catches fire, remember that the wise person saves but the foolish person spends everything.



Corey is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in religion. While he enjoys learning and writing about Christianity, another one of his new passions is writing about personal finances in order to help others make wise decisions with their money.

3 responses to Personal Finance in the Bible: Proverbs 21:20

  1. Just when I was about to spend money on a new phone I don’t really need (but wanted) along comes this timely post. Thanks for the shoulder tap Paul. I needed a little bit of guidance just now.

  2. I’m glad you found it helpful, Donna. But I do want to add that there’s nothing necessarily wrong with spending money on things we want provided we seek to do it within God’s will. The point of this post was to highlight the fact that God does encourage use to save wisely rather than foolishly spend everything we get.

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  1. Carnival of Personal Finance #269: THE DIVA$ EDITION | Miss Thrifty - August 9, 2010

    […] Williams from Provident Planning presents Personal Finance in the Bible: Proverbs 21:20: In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he […]

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