The Bible references money and possessions 2,350 times.1 That’s a lot. It’s more than Jesus talked about love, and more than He talked about heaven and hell combined. Whew! Almost half of Jesus’ parables were related to money. So, what do those 2,350 verses say about money and stuff anyway? Way more than I have time to talk about here . . .
Obviously money and possessions are really important topics—ones we need direction and clarity around if we’re going to have a healthy relationship with them. And sure, it’s great to make a lot of money and have nice things. But you know what’s an even greater sign of wealth and prosperity? Having something to leave to your kids or community: a legacy. So I’m going to share the seven verses about leaving a legacy that I turn to when I need a little guidance in my own financial decisions.
Bible Verses About Legacy
Building a legacy means you make an impact on future generations by leaving them wisdom, wealth or some other influence that makes a difference long after you’re gone. Taking control of your money and mindset now is the quickest way to get on the path to leaving a legacy for future generations. Here are seven Bible verses about legacy—I hope you’ll get as much wisdom from them as I do!
1. 1 Timothy 6:6 (NKJV): “Now godliness with contentment is great gain.”
When it comes to legacy in the Bible, God says we have “great gain” when we’re not driven by the desire for more. In other words, when we’re content with what we have, we hold our hands open to receive more. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but being happy with what we already have is the key to satisfaction!
We all have different wishes and wants, and it’s easy to become discontent in the comparison culture we live in. (I’m looking at you, Instagram highlight reels.) It’s natural to want more, better, faster, shinier, newer . . . You get the idea—the wanting never ends! But here’s the crazy thing: I experience the greatest peace of mind when I’m content regardless of outcomes or upgrades. It’s okay to be driven to succeed, but it’s unhealthy when success determines our happiness.
Contentment is the most important trait of people who are successful with money. That’s because they think long and hard about the purchases they make and how to use their money to save, invest and give—instead of trying to keep up with the Joneses. (I even wrote a book about this! Check out my book, Love Your Life, Not Theirs, for guided prompts to learn to love your life, not someone else’s.)
2. Proverbs 13:22 (NKJV): “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children . . .”
This Bible verse about legacy keeps our life goals, our vision and our future front and center when we’re choosing how to use our money today. When we weigh what we want now versus what we really want later, we realize that what feels good right in this moment won’t last like leaving a legacy of purpose and generational wealth for years to come.
And an inheritance isn’t limited to money. An inheritance also includes godly character qualities, like integrity and trustworthiness. When you combine financial inheritance with wisdom and character, this makes sure the next generation will manage their blessings God’s way for His glory for a long, long time!
3. Proverbs 22:7 (NIV) “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.”
I like this legacy verse because it speaks honestly about the relationship between a borrower and a lender. God wants us to be able to hear from Him and serve people in His name . . . not to be distracted—and trapped—by debt payments. He wants us to have freedom and options. Many of us sense God calling us to do great things for Him, but when we’re in debt, we feel limited in our ability to make changes and help others.
4. Hebrews 13:5 (NIV): “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’”
When we envy what other people have—money, new cars, big houses, better health—we lose sight of what we do have. Chasing after someone else’s legacy distracts us from what God has in store for us—our very own gifts and purpose. When we focus on God and what He’s doing in our life instead of looking over our shoulder and comparing ourselves to our neighbors or friends, we’ll be able to make wise decisions for our lives . . . and figure out the best way to leave a legacy. But letting an obsession with money be our motivation? That’s a sure way to lose sight of helping others, being a good friend, and giving to those in need.
5. 1 Timothy 5:8 (NIV) “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
It’s pretty clear what the Bible says about legacy, guys . . . living a life of faith means you gather and share what you have with your relatives and immediate family living under your roof. If you choose not to, you’re going against what the Bible teaches us about sharing our resources with others.
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God loves to see us being generous with others, even if we don’t have much. We shouldn't just spend our money on ourselves or hoard it—we should share what we can. And you know something? Sharing and being generous feels really, really good! It’s a gift to yourself when you give to others. (I encourage you to try giving in a way that feels right to you—whether that’s buying a cup of coffee for someone or making a donation to a cause you care about.)
6. Matthew 6:20-21 (NIV): “‘But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’”
In the Book of Matthew, we learn that while building a legacy here on earth is a big deal, keeping your focus on heaven and living a life for God’s glory is the ultimate long-term goal. Whatever we own here on earth won’t last. Eventually, it’ll break, get lost, or won’t belong to us anymore. But our spirit is eternal—and that’s the real treasure! So, as you’re managing your money and possessions, remember, those things are temporary but our relationship with God is forever.
7. Psalm 112:1–3 (NIV): “Praise the Lord. Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in his commands. Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever.”
Guys, don’t freak out. Fearing the Lord doesn’t mean we walk around scared that He’s going to hit us with a lightning bolt if we do something wrong. Fearing the Lord means loving God and obeying His commands. In this final verse about legacy in the Bible, we learn that the longest lasting legacy is faith. Loving God and being obedient to Him will be worth more to future generations than anything material!
Leaving a Legacy Starts Today
What Bible verses about legacy do you turn to when you’re seeking financial guidance? God has provided us with so much wisdom in this area because He is for us and loves us, not because He wants anything from us. It’s worth digging into legacy in the Bible and finding some financial insight that motivates and inspires you!
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Next Steps to Begin Building a Legacy
- If you don’t already, spend time in God’s word to see what else He says about generosity, planning, and family.
- Begin learning and practicing contentment. You can’t build a legacy if you’re trying to keep up with the Joneses!
- Check out the EveryDollar app to get your first budget up and running. This will help you start saving for your future goals and future generations.