Is this bible verse about money?


My dad stated that there is a bible verse that states as much as you give to others it will be given back to you (in regards to money).
He said that some people had applied this in real life and given away their house and everything else believing in this principle and have ended up with nothing.

I found this verse Luke 6.38:
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

I don’t know if he was referring to this verse or something else.
Is there a teaching like this in the bible or has he (and others) misinterpreted this?

What is the Catholic view regarding giving money (and money in general) and what sort of reasoning should you have about being sensible etc?



There are many interesting biblical web sites.

One of my favorites says that if you don’t work, you don’t eat.

Check it out.


The particular bible verse you quoted sounds to me that we are to give of ourselves to our neighbor, and sometimes that involves money, but not always. According to our state in life and our priorities we need to use discernment about how much to give.

When I give of myself to my neighbor (for ex: rides to the food market, doctor, a visit to a sick person, etc.) then I am following that bible verse.

Many times people make a caricature of bible verses and exaggerate them in order to make them sound foolish.

Prayer to the Holy Spirit helps much!


This verse is not about money. The point is that God will judge you based on how you treat others, and that you should not expect God to judge you generously if you don’t treat others with generosity. Catholics do not subscribe to any sort of “prosperity” message – any suggestion that being a good person leads to financial success in this life.


@ Dorothy and @ TMC :
Sorry - I didn’t see your posts at the time that I was writing mine. I appear to be echoing some of your sentiments. - Glad to see my thinking isn’t isolated.

@ Elena321 :

Hi. There is another verse which your dad may have had in mind. It is found in the Gospel of Mark (and a verse quite similar in Chapter 19 of the Gospel of Matthew) :

Mark 10 :29-30 ; NAB
Jesus said, "Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.

The Catholic view about giving money to God/the Church, and questions surrounding it, are often tied in to the concept of tithing. Tithing stops short of giving away everything we have and instead, recommends we give back 10% of our earnings.

The Catholic Church does not say we are obliged to give 10% of our earnings/belongings to God. However, we are obliged to help- according to our means . The *Catechism of the Catholic Church * # 2043 says that

". . . The faithful also have the duty of providing for the material needs of the Church, each according to his own abilities.

Two links to articles pertaining to this. The first article from the Arlington Catholic Herald traces the custom of tithing from its Judaic roots. The second is a briefer Catholic Answers tract.

Straight Answers ; Are We Required to Tithe ; Fr. William Saunders

What is the Church’s Position on Tithing ? , Catholic Answers

All that considered, I believe we have to try to not lose sight of the generosity which Jesus tries to gently aim us towards - demonstrated in you quote from Chapter 6 of the Gospel of Luke.

The quote above in this post from Chapter 10 of the Gospel of Mark , comes almost directly after Jesus asked the rich young man to take up the challenge: “Go, sell what you have, and give to (the) poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”

That’s a more difficult one. My own personal limited opinion on this (I’m open to correction) is that once the possessions were gone, Jesus would have had the man give of himself. This is what we are all ultimately called to do - to give of ourselves in some way. It is possible that the young man’s great wealth was impeding him from giving of himself. Also, when we provide for the material needs of the Church , we are helping to support those ministers who give of themselves. OTOH if we are called to give of ourselves by starting/supporting a family, a certain amount of wealth/riches/possessions are necessary for financial stability.

The rich young man narrative continues and concludes with the words , “At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.”

We might glean from that last part that many possessions (or an overabundance of possessions) will not make us happy.

So the Catechism says to try and help support the material needs of the Church according to our ability.

Exactly how or how much, then becomes a personal matter. The key would appear to be remaining open to sharing.



He’s right, of course.

For example, there are some televangelists, belonging to the Word of Faith movement, who believe that the Bible teaches “seed-planting.” If I “sow seeds” of money into a ministry, then God is bound to bless my finances even a hundred-fold, so long as I have the right degree of (what they understand as) faith. Yes, I think the verse you found could by used by them in this context.

Some people find this a convenient teaching for the televangelists to get rich off of. I think many of them are genuine and sincere, but simply mistaken. Moreover, I’m sure, some folks in difficult financial situations have given money to preachers based on this principle, and have not found an answer to their money problems.

This teaching is incredibly focused on the natural world, and it assumes that a true Christian’s heaven should begin here on this earth. I don’t think that that’s a Biblical assumption, no. In fact, the vast majority of Christians reject this understanding, and it is very, very modern in the history of our religion.

There is a virtue called magnificence, wherein one uses one’s money to do great things. Like all virtues, it’s a golden mean between excess and defect. Finding that balance is itself the result of the virtue of prudence and several of her subvirtues, like shrewdness, foresight, reason, caution, and circumspection.

As a general rule: we are to give out of our excess to those who need it, and we are to do so with love for them that is rooted in love for God. And moreover, we are to develop an “excess” based on the virtue of simplicity: having just the right amount that we need, without having more and without having less, and neither to excess nor to defect.

We are called to do this to serve Our Lord and to grow in love for Him. Is there a reward there? Yes. The more we love Him, the closer we will be to Him, and the greater our share in the Beatific Vision. But true love of Him is given to us as an end in itself, no?


Remember Jesus also tells us to give without expecting anything back, that we should not give to our friends and family because they probably have the means to pay us back but that we should give to the poorest who have no means to pay us back.

Also He teaches to give so much it hurts.

Whether all this is related to money, time, work, efforts, deeds, etc… I don’t know, but I think most of the rewards God speaks of are given in the life to come. Also remember that God says you must provide for your family (the line about those who don’t work don’t eat is reference to that) so by giving away your house and making your family homeless is not following Gods commands.

BTW this is reason number 568 in my book of why the Bible has to come with a teaching authority (The Catholic Church) attached to it, if not you get these kind of things happening.


This verse is often used by individuals like Credo Dollar and others to further the Gospel of Prosperity. This was not the Gospel that Christ taught. “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.”
He never taught that wealth was evil. There are many passages in the Old Testament pointing to wealth as a sign of God’s favor. There are also passages that warn against hoarding wealth for the sake of wealth.
In his encounter with the rich young man, Our Lord asks one more thing–to give away his possessions. Jesus also said, “Where your heart is, so lies your treasure.”

The First Beatitude is “Blessed are the poor in Spirit.” Can we place all our trust in God. This is not necessarily a call to poverty. The vow of poverty that religious take is poverty of spirit. The giving that we are called to is a giving of self. Can we be merciful? The Our Father includes the words, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

I find it interesting that the first rule in Rockefeller’s rules for wealth is to give away the first 10% earned. This fits the Biblical idea of tithing, which St. Paul says is still in effect. It also put into place the idea of not putting too much value on money. There are other priorities in life. Andrew Carnegie considered it the role of the rich to care for the poor.

While the verse is often used to further the idea of harvesting wealth, it is not meant to be interpreted as it often is that we will necessarily see the fruits of that wealth. Those fruits will not necessarily be material fruits, but the spiritual fruits that come from preaching the gospel less by our words than by our lifestyle. As St. James says, “Show me your faith without works, and I will show you the faith that underlies my works.”


Perhaps this insight will help?

We CERTAINLY are all called to share our wealth; but doing so is to be CHARITY, not an investment strategy.

Further our “wealth” extends far beyond money; READ 1 st Cor chapter 12 and this becomes very clear. [It’s a short chapter]:slight_smile:

For all those who give with the RIGHT intent of helping others; God cannot be out-given.
Our rewards may or may not be in this life; though it is OFTEN in both, this and the next life. THAT is God’s call, a bonus NOT to be expected; but gratefully accepted if offered to us.

ALL that we have comes through God’s Divine Providence [a word for “care”], and the only reward we OUGHT to be seeking is a nudge closer to attaining heaven.

Jas.2: [24] You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
Heb.6: 10 “For God is not so unjust as to overlook your work and the love which you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do.”

Rev.2: 23 “and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches shall know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve.”

1 Peter 1: 17 “Now if you invoke as Father him who judges impartially according to each one’s works, conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning, “

God Bless you!

Give with JOY! not return expectations!



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