Should Religion Play a Role In Your Money Decisions?

by Jason on December 14, 2009

Adam Baker, a fellow Personal Finance Blogger over at Man vs. Debt had a great post a while back about his issue with Dave Ramsey throwing in religious talk at the end of his radio programs.

In his video blog, Adam asked this question: Is Christianity the Only Path to ‘True’ Financial Peace?

Baker is admittedly not a Christian, but he is a huge Dave Ramsey fan.

The question came about because at the end of Dave’s show, he will usually sign off with something to the effect of:

the only way to true financial peace is to walk with the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ”

Baker’s question is a great one to ask.  I appreciate honest and heartfelt questions like this, even if there are a myriad of answers that don’t agree with mine.

This question did get me thinking however about the role that “Religion” should play in our personal finances if any.

There were many interesting comments from Baker’s post – check ’em out if you get a chance.

There’s a few questions that I think need clarification before we can answer the broader question:

What is Financial Peace

To me, this is really a theoretical question that depends on the person.

For some, financial peace means being completely debt-free, while others may feel that having a job and enough income to pay monthly expenses is financial peace.

Others argue that being in control of their money is financial peace.  I hate to sound too postmodern, but financial peace varies from person to person.

What is True Financial Peace?

This is where it gets a little fuzzy.  I’m not sure what Ramsey means when he says that the only way to true financial peace is to walk with the Prince of Peace.

I’m not sure if he’s just working a play-on-words or if he means that if you walk with Christ your finances will get cleaned up?

Perhaps some of you more intense followers of Dave can enlighten us on this.

What is True Peace?

Now this is an interesting question that as a Christian I would argue has only one answer.  True peace comes when we have a relationship with Jesus Christ.

As imperfect people, we sin against a holy and just God constantly and we must deal with the consequences.  Because God is a just God, He must punish wrongdoing.

Now, what if someone took the hit for you?  What if God, in his rich mercy, decided to send his Son to take the blame and allow you to get off clean?

He did do that – and that is true peace!  We don’t have to face the eternal consequences any more!

When we believe, turn from our wrongdoing and trust in Jesus – God allows us to escape the penalty that we deserved because Jesus paid our fine!

Should Religion Play a Role in Your Money Decisions?

Back to the question at hand – should your religion, whether it’s Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism or Christianity play a role in your money decisions or do the two not go hand-in-hand?

My answer would be an emphatic yes!  Here’s why:

I can only answer this with my Christian view, but as a Christian – I believe Jesus gave up His life so I could have eternal life and peace with Him.

Since He did that for me, the least I could do is submit every aspect of my life to Him – including my money.

I also believe that “the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it” – Therefore God, the creator of this world, owns it all.  I am merely a steward who is managing property for someone else.

I want to make sure I’m managing my finances well for the King.

Also, the Bible is filled with verses relating to our use of and attitudes with money.  God has given us a valuable resource to use to help keep us in check when it comes to our personal finances, why would we want to ingore that.

What Are Your Thoughts?

I’d love to hear your honest feedback:

Does religion/spirituality play a role in your financial plans – or do you think religion and money should be kept separate?

Google+ Comments

Related Posts