The Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:1-17), known as the moral law, are criteria that God has given us to evaluate our relationship with Him and with others. They are summarized by Jesus as follows:" ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ ” (Matt. 22:37-39, NKJV). These two great commandments certainly do not replace what God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai, but rather confirm that the moral law reveals that God’s law stems from His love.

In giving the Ten Commandments to Moses, God begins by reminding His people that He is the one who delivered them fromEgyptian captivity. He is a God who keeps His promises, a God who never abandons us. When we keep the moral law, it demonstrates that we understand that there is indeed a God who loves us, who cares for us, and who keeps His promises. God has given us His law as a means for us to reciprocate His love. That’s why Jesus says: “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15, NKJV).

These two great commandments are to be reflected in every decision we make, including our finances. It is interesting to note is that the first and the last of the Ten Commandments are both directly related to the management of our financial resources. The first commandment is “You shall have no other gods before Me” and the last is “You shall not covet.” Each of these two commandments respectively falls under the two segments as summarized by Jesus.

Love Your God

Love Others

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me.

10. You shall not covet.

Love your God: “You shall have no other gods before Me”

Our distribution of our financial resources in our budget should reflect our love for God. The Bible has clear and precise indicators of how this should be done. An example is given by the prophet Malachi. “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say,‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.” (Mal. 3:8, NKJV). “Tithes and offerings” is a principle God established for our own benefit. It reminds us of the love of God for us, which will eventually result in a reciprocation of that love from us. It is also recognizes the sovereignty of God, which keeps us from thinking that we are self-sufficient.

God, through the tithing system, wants us to always be aware of His ownership so that we do not depend on our possessions, thus creating “other gods” in our life. Our money can be the factor that plays a very important role in the creation of these other gods. Including the “love of God” in our budgeting helps us to resist the temptation to create other gods to take the place of the true God.

Love others: “You shall not covet”

The apostle Peter reminds us that we should follow the steps of Jesus (1 Peter 2:21). One of the great examples that Jesus has given us is altruism. The “love others” aspect is to be demonstrated in the preparation of our budget. The apostle Paul reminds us of the importance of helping others and caring for their needs. “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil. 2:4, NKJV). However, this recommendation could be jeopardized by covetousness.

Coveting something is very often motivated by the desire of having a better life. Though it can be presented as the right to dream, coveting is like a virus that can subtly attack us. It can ruin relationships as it nurtures a sentiment of jealousy and envy. The person whose possessions or qualities are being coveted by us is, as a result, deprived of our love and friendship.

Coveting means desire to obtain something we don’t currently have. However, once we get what we coveted, there is an adjustment to the new situation. A new feeling of dissatisfaction occurs, which leads to the desire for something else. This keeps us in a vicious circle of wanting something based on what others have.

Coveting pushes us to spend to keep up with all the “upgrades” deemed essential by our commercial culture. The latest gadgets and electronic devices, the most recent cars, and the trendiest fashions. This list is certainly not exhaustive. Not only do we neglect the “love for others” aspect of God’s law, we fabricate of “other gods,” thus rejecting the “love your God” aspect of the Ten Commandments.

Preparation of our budget

In preparing our budget, it is important that we ask ourselves the following questions:

  1. Does it demonstrate our love for God?
    1. Are we giving God the first place in our budgeting?
    2. Do we have any “other god” in our life that we have deliberately included in our budget?
      1. Is this keeping us from spending time with God?
      2. Has this become a priority in our life?
  1. Does it demonstrate our love for others?
    • Are we taking others into consideration when we do our budget?
      • Is this something we really need, or is it a result of covetousness?

The following table can help us to answer the above questions when preparing our budget. If we want it to reflect the “love of God” and “love for others,” columns A and B should never remain empty, whereas columns C and D should always be empty.





Cannot remain empty

Should remain empty

Demonstrates our love for God

Demonstrates our love for others

This is becoming an “other god” in my life.

I’m making those expenses because of my covetousness.

Tithes and offerings

Donations to specific funds or people



Cable TV?


God gave us His moral law so that we could live an abundant life. When governed by the principles derived from the two great commandments, our budgeting will surely reflect the will of God in the management of our personal finances.

Murvin Camatchee

Murvin Camatchee (MBA, MDiv). Married to Corrine, he is currently the Lead Pastor of the College Drive church in the Gulf States Conference, USA.