Monday, August 22, 2011

Proverbs and Money- Part 1

I've been a life-long worrier over money, and recently I asked God for freedom from that worry. As part of that journey, I've been reading Proverbs and looking specifically for verses on money. Here's what I've discovered so far...

A good name is more desirable than great riches;
to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.  Prov. 22:1

It is better to have a good reputation than to be rich. It's better that people like you than to have money in the bank.

Rich and poor have this in common:
The Lord is the Maker of them all.  Prov. 22:2

Rich people and poor people act like they are so different - but the truth is that they are just the same. God made the poor and man and He made the rich man, and He chose what family each would be born in to. But if the rich man is tempted to think... if I am tempted to think, since I am rich (Beth Moore defines a wealthy person as one who has the money to buy a book and the education to read it. I've also heard "wealthy" defined as one who has enough food for today AND for tomorrow.) that I am better than a poor person, then I'm wrong. We are made by the same God. We are both dust. We are equal in God's site. He does not play favorites, and nor should we. We have what we have because God gave it to us. We always need to remember that. We sometimes fall into the thinking that we have earned our wealth. Wise living may lead to wealth, as Proverbs will continue to explain, but truly, what we have is God's gift to us.

Humility and fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life. Prov. 22:4

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you (Matthew 6:33). Pursue humility FIRST. Fear the Lord FIRST. Then the Lord promises wealth, honor and life. Is there a number attached to that promise? No. But God does promise wealth. He also says, "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up (James 4:10)." There is a confirmation here in Scripture - humility brings honor. There is also an upside-down principle here (society vs. Scripture) - our society wants money so they chase money and love money. They want honor so they step on people. They want a great life so they pursue pleasure and put themselves first and chase every desire.
            God's response? "'Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have (Hebrews 13:5),' because I 'will meet all your needs according to [my] glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).'"
Need money? Fear the Lord and trust in His promise to provide.
Want honor? Humble yourself before the Lord.
Need a life? Know that He is the Sovereign and Risen Lord and trust that He came "that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10)."