You have a natural relationship with the way you handle money, which I call your money type. The manner in which you intuitively think, feel and act financially reveals something, and if you pay attention, you’ll learn far more than how to better handle finances—you’ll learn something about who you are at your core, about how God designed you. For years I thought there was only one correct, God-ordained way to handle money. I was wrong.
After years of pastoral ministry walking alongside people seeking to improve their finances, I’ve identified seven money types, which are affirmed and depicted in the Scriptures by seven prominent characters who teach us something about what it means to be truly human, and in the process, about seven ways people relate to God and money.
The way we grow in financial well-being is by understanding and embracing our unique, God-given way to manage our finances. We can also better resolve financial tension—money fights—with others by understanding their money type and how it’s conflicting with ours.
Money is one of those topics that can make some of us feel immense shame and guilt, and it makes others of us feel superior. But what if financial well-being was not just about how much money you had but about learning to relate to it better, not based on whether or not you had more money but rather based in how you’ve matured and embraced who you are and how God designed you? There is no money mold that God handed down from on high because, ultimately, it’s really not about money at all. It’s about you, God and how you and God partner together to build the Kingdom with what He’s given you.
Money is a tool, simple as that.
How do you interact with money? Do you avoid saving for the future? Do you seek to maximize your money? Do you love using money to make others feel special? To correct injustices? To set the next generation up to win financially?
What you may learn is that your spending habits encompass one of the seven biblical money types I’ve identified, each represented by an individual character in the Bible:
Abraham types use money for hospitality, making others feel special and loved.
Isaac types use it for discipline, seeking to maximize money, to recover and restore what’s broken.
Jacob types use it in pursuit of beauty, thriving when using money to create pleasurable experiences.
Joseph types use it to increase connection, instinctively using money to network and build.
Moses types use it with endurance under the belief that there’s nothing better than a budget and a good plan.
Aaron types use it humbly, willing give you the shirt off his back and sacrifices financially for others.
Finally, David types use it for leadership, using money to break new ground and set others up to win.
In thinking of these examples, who would you say used it best? Who did God love more? They are pointless questions, really. The Abraham type is no better than the Moses type when it comes to money. Each one teaches us something about God, about ourselves. And the way each related to resources is surprisingly unique and God-affirmed. Understanding your own relationship with your finances, and the diverse ways God has created each of us, positions you to help bring about God’s dreams for the earth through the ways you use money.
Learn to build with it responsibly.
Our resources are designed to work together with God to bring about incredible hope in the world. God gives us a sacred trust in the form of the money that flows into and through our lives. When you embrace and grow in your understanding of your gifts and natural relationship with your resources in this area, you’ll not only improve your relationship to money and your relationship with others related to money, you’ll mature into who God created you to be.
The journey to financial well-being—the ability to handle resources in a way that’s true to your deepest sense of self while maintaining healthy financial thoughts, emotions, attitudes and actions—is a journey that you can begin today as you make sense of your money type. Most importantly, it’s a journey God desires to take with you as you unearth, understand and unleash resources for good and for God.
This is edited from an excerpt of Tommy Brown’s book The Seven Money Types: Discover How God Wired You to Handle Money (Zondervan). Used with permission.