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Bible studies

Bible study: Godly attitudes to business

What does the Bible teach about running a business and making money?

2017 Available in English, French and Portuguese

A man and woman sit next to each other outside a red brick house and in front of a spilled bowl of grain and palm tree, laughing.

Hamitoni Banda and his wife, Rhoda. Hamitoni took CCT training at Chirambi CCAP Church and became a farmer and small business owner. Photo: Marcus Perkins/Tearfund

A woman selling eels and other fish in Hsipaw, Myanmar. Photo: Andrew Philip

From: Entrepreneurship – Footsteps 103

Practical advice on how to run a successful business

Being prepared 

Read Proverbs 31:10–31. 

In this passage, we learn about a busy and godly wife. She is always hard at work – she grows food, manages land and makes cloth, bedding and clothing. Instead of one enterprise, she is involved in several. She does not fear what the future may bring because she has prepared herself for it. She is also caring, loving and widely respected. What an example!  

  • What can we learn from this picture? 
  • How can we help our families and our communities be better prepared for an uncertain future? 

The right attitude to money  

The Bible contains a lot of teaching about money. It certainly does not forbid making money. Paul taught that we should work hard to provide for our needs and those of our families. In the New Testament we read about godly people who were successful in their businesses, such as Lydia, who was a dyer of purple cloth (see Acts 16:14).  

In 1 Timothy 6:6–12, there is some very wise teaching about the need to be content with what we have and to have an appropriate attitude towards material things. The passage does not say that making money and using it well is wrong. It is good to make full use of our resources and abilities. However, the love of money rather than of God is wrong. It is our attitude that is so important as we seek to build up our enterprises. 

  • How can we make sure we have the right attitude to money? 

Adapted from Think livelihoods!

Further Reading

 Think livelihoods!

by Kara Greenblott, Isabel Carter and Debora Randall 

This is a manual for helping people and communities affected by HIV to improve their livelihoods. However, much of the information is useful for any livelihoods programme. Contains case studies, training exercises and biblical reflections. 

Visit to download Think livelihoods! free of charge in English, French, Portuguese and Kiswahili. Contact us to order a printed copy in English (costing £6). 

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