You don’t have to read much of the book of James to find yourself some straight talk.

One of the issues James tackles head-on is money – how it’s earned, kept, and spent. Here’s how he begins his teaching on this tricky topic:

“Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you.” (James 5:1 ESV)

James pulls no punches! But he goes on to offer profound wisdom for you and me today, as he points to three ways we can let the Master control our money, rather than having our money master us:

First, your money must be rightfully gained. In our success-driven world, there’s incredible pressure to compromise our character in order to gain material wealth. But we must resist this temptation! We’re called to make honest financial decisions 100% of the time – avoiding dodgy business deals, get-rich-quick schemes, and speculative ventures.

Second, your money must be reasonably guarded. We’re called to be good stewards of all that God bestows on us, but James warns against hoarding and stockpiling. “You have laid up treasure in the last days,” he says. But, “Your riches have rotted…. Your gold and silver have corroded…” (James 5:2-3). Accumulating wealth must not be our goal – because that goal will soon become a god!

Third, your money must be generously given. You can strike a death blow to the god of greed in your life, by learning how to give and keep on giving. We give not because someone squeezes us or pressures us, but because we’re moved by the love of Jesus Christ in our hearts.

There’s no better source of wisdom for mastering your money than the Scriptures. May His truth make you wise so you earn money honestly, manage it wisely, and give it generously – to His glory!