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Wisdom + Wealth



Continuing in the collection of talks called “Treasure + Heart,” Pastor Ben Stuart takes us through the Proverbs and shows us how we can shift from the anxiety that money may cause to the wisdom of managing it.

Key Takeaway

When we live within the boundaries that God has set up for money and finances, we will bless others and be blessed. We don't have to live in anxiety when God has made a way for us to walk in wisdom and faith.

Depending on how you handle it, money can be a resource for death or for life. Often, we have anxiety about money, which leads us to be controlled by worry and appetite rather than by wisdom and faith. How can you be wise about what God has given you?


Four facts about money:

1) Money is dangerous. It will deceive you and make you think it is your security rather than God.

Proverbs 18:10-11—One person will run to God for security while the rich man looks to wealth. In Proverbs, the rich man isn't necessarily someone who has a lot of money but is one who clings to it for security and significance.

Proverbs 23:4-5—Money can sprout wings and fly away. It's dangerous because it can leave you.

Money can make you deny God, and that's dangerous.

Proverbs 30:8-9—The writer is asking for just enough money not to make him go crazy.

Proverbs 1:11-13—If you fall in love with wealth, it will lead you to be cruel to people.

2) Money is limited. It can build a house, but it can't build a home.

Proverbs 15:16—If you chase money to invest in things rather than people, you are not winning. It can put food on your table, but it can't put the fellowship around it.

3) Money is valuable. It gives you autonomy.

Proverbs 22:7—Having money will open options if you have no debt. Debt eliminates options.

Proverbs 14:20- Everyone has "friends" when they have money.

In Proverbs, money is like water with or without boundaries. Water without boundaries is a tsunami or a swamp. In both of these things, it will not be conducive to life. It will drown it out. A dam, on the other hand, is where the water becomes stagnant and isn't good for anything. Yet, if it's in a river, it has boundaries, but it's flowing from the source to the sea, bringing life the whole way.

4) Money is manageable. How? Use wisdom.

Proverbs 8:18-21—Wisdom in the Bible is knowing how the world works and knowing how to work within it. It's the competency and complexity of life. Wisdom is presented as a woman in Proverbs and says that if you follow what she says, you will have justice and peace, but you'll also have wealth.

Proverbs 9:17-18—Folly is presented as a woman. It's posing the question, Lady Wisdom and Lady Folly are both speaking. Who are you going to follow?

Wisdom—if you listen to your Maker and do things His way, you may not have as many things, and it may take you longer, but you'll have fellowship.

Folly—you may get rich quickly, but you'll have nothing of value and be alone.


Five guiding principles:

1) Give faithfully. You give faithfully and consistently, but you also give full of faith, counting on God. You trust the Lord and that He leads you to be generous.

Proverbs 22:4—If you are humble and trust God, He will take care of you. He puts Himself in the equation. Do you believe God is up there? Do you believe that He will do what is best?

Proverbs 3:9—Honor God with your first fruits. If the first fruits are coming in, then you trust more will come. By giving God the first fruit, you are honoring Him. Before giving to yourself, you give to God; it's a sign of faith. Why give your first and best? Because He did. He sent Jesus, His first and best.

In the same sermon, Jesus condemned the hypocrisy of the religious leaders and commended the widow's mite. We can hold both at the same time too. We can condemn hypocrisy and still call people to be generous for the sake of others.

2) By giving, you honor other people. The Church to other organizations so that more people can be blessed and helped with their needs.

Proverbs 11:24-25—God says there will be a blessing when you give.

3) Work diligently.

Proverbs 10:4—Work was before the fall. We are meant to be like our God and be satisfied when we create things.

Proverbs 12:11—Modern translation: if you play Call of Duty while you have a debt to owe, that makes no sense. You are going to hit limitations later in life. You don't want to rely on your hustle, but that doesn't mean don't hustle.

Proverbs 26:14-15, 22:13, 13:4—The sluggard is a tragic comedy in the Proverbs. He doesn't begin or finish anything. He doesn't face anything; therefore, he doesn't have anything.

Proverbs 6:6-8—Don't make someone have to kick you to get you moving. Be self-motivated and skillful.

Proverbs 22:9—Find something you're really good at and enjoy doing, then get really good at it, and you'll make a living.

4) Save consistently.

Proverbs 13:11—Understand delayed gratification. Give a little, save a little, and live off the little you've got left. It may not look impressive, but it will add up over time. Get people around you who understand money better than you do.

5) Live humbly. Be content.

Proverbs 21:17, 12:9—Don't try and hurry to get to a higher standard of living. Learn to go without.

If you have absolutely blown it with money, look at Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10. Jesus didn't shame him; He showed him grace. Jesus has already paid everything so you can live in freedom with Him.


"Money can build a house, but it can't build a home. It can put food on your table, but it can't put the fellowship around it."

Ben Stuart

Discussion Questions

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Message Topics

Scripture References

  • Proverbs 18:10-11
  • Proverbs 23:4-5
  • Proverbs 30:8-9
  • Proverbs 1:11-13
  • Proverbs 15:16
  • Proverbs 22:7
  • Proverbs 14:20
  • Proverbs 8:18-21,
  • Proverbs 9:17-18
  • Proverbs 22:4
  • Proverbs 3:9
  • Proverbs 11:24-25
  • Proverbs 10:4
  • Proverbs 12:11
  • Proverbs 26:14-15
  • Proverbs 22:13
  • Proverbs 13:4
  • Proverbs 6:6-8
  • Proverbs 22:9
  • Proverbs 13:11
  • Proverbs 21:17
  • Proverbs 12:9
  • Luke 19:1-10
Ben Stuart Ben Stuart is the pastor of Passion City Church D.C. Prior to joining Passion City Church, Ben served as the executive director of Breakaway Ministries on the campus of Texas A&M. He also earned a master’s degree in historical theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Donna, live to inspire and equip people to walk with God for a lifetime.