Labor not to be Rich. . .

Labor not to be rich; cease from thine own wisdom.”

Proverbs 23:4

Who will heed this warning? Labor not to be rich that you become so righteous and think that your wisdom has gained you this position. Do not trust in what you have. Remember that you cannot take it with you when you die. Know that whatever you do in this life, it is God who gives the increase. Why the warning, and what does it mean?

Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.”

1 Timothy 6:17

It is God who gives us all things to enjoy. Why does Paul state to Timothy a son of a Greek Gentile father not to trust in uncertain riches? These are warnings that Paul gave to those in ministries, but even the lay person can learn from the warnings that Paul gave to Timothy. Paul states that it is enough to just have food and raiment [see 1 Timothy 6:8]. Just food and clothing seem so little. Why? It is what your mind is focused upon. Having to strive to get money takes your eyes of off God. That is why the love of money is the root of all evil. Listen to what Paul said in 1 Timothy 6:10.

For the love of money is the root of all evil, which, while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

1 Timothy 6:10

The root of all evil begins with coveting which is a strong desire to have something or obtain something that you do not have at that moment. It is coveting that many have misjudged themselves to do wrong in order to gain something. That is why we have laws in place to direct our behavior. Everything has its place in society in order that we may live in peace. A Christian’s behavior is to become more like Christ. A Christian prays that he may live a godly life. Paul comments that “godliness with contentment is great gain,” [see 1 Timothy 6:6]. A Christian is thankful to God for what he has provided. Have you ever considered the views regarding money? Have you read about the self-made millionaire Steve Siebold? Let’s look at a couple of statements what he found in researching out the wealthy. Think carefully! Is there wisdom in these statements?

Rich people believe money is liberating …while the average person believes money is controlling.

Are rich people liberated from having money? It is what you believe, but it may not always play out to be the truth in what you believe. They may believe that they have more freedom; however, with more money there is more responsibility that one does not take into consideration. Despite the fact that they may have the freedom to spend on what they desire, it is the individual’s attitude towards money that is the key. Why? Because many times it is money that will control you instead of the other way around. That is why Jesus said that it is hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, for they are not able to let go of what they have. In otherwards, money has a great hold in their life to where they cannot separate themselves from the money that they have. Many times, money becomes a power play for an ideal status of an individual rather than an individual living in moderation and being content with what they have. We really need to change our behavior and attitudes towards money. That way it will be liberating to both the rich and the average person.

Rich people believe in working for fulfillment …while the average person believes in working for money.

Here again it is a matter of how you view money in general. Everyone knows that one has to have a job in order to make money. It all depends upon your state of mind. Evaluation of individual talents and gifts is what can motivate you to work. But if you are in the wrong job, it will not fulfill your desires no matter what amount of money you receive. You will always be dissatisfied. What you love to do becomes your passion and that passion should fulfill the desires of your heart. Work should be an adventure or journey rather than just something you just have to do to make ends meet. Focusing on money brings stress and anxiety. God wants you to use your hands to some kind of work that will not only bless you but others as well. Ask God to reveal the work you should be doing. The reason why you should have money is not only for your own personal needs but for the needs of others. The rich know that creative thinking is the highest paid skill in the world, so any kind of training you have is meant for not only for your good but for the good of others. Ask God to help you find solutions to difficult problems and to guide you into the right passions for the work you do. He will supply you with the answers and the right position in a job where you are fulfilled.

We are to remember the things that bring blessings. One of them is the work of your hands. God desires is to bless the work of your hand.

The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in its season, and to bless all the work of thine hand; and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.”

Deuteronomy 28:12

Lending to many nations such as giving to the poor are what God desires. The church is meant to teach people to distribute to the needs of others. The early churches did just that. They gave to each other when there was a need and to further the Gospel of Christ.

“He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.”

Proverbs 19:17

When I read how giving to the poor is lending to the Lord, it amazed me and the fact that He will pay him again was something I did not expect. Yet, I have seen the benefits in my own life where my needs were supplied, and debts were paid off when I gave to the poor. God will always supply your need when you place your faith in him and not on something else like money. It is God who gives the increase for the work of our hands, and we should thank him every day for what he has given us in material wealth that we may continue to give to others who have need of certain things. The early church was taught to give and distribute, but we rarely witness this today. Some of us have to be shamed into giving.

If ever we need wisdom is now . . . we need the wisdom that God can provide, and the way to find it is asking. In James chapter 1 verse 5, it states that God will give it when we ask for it. The only condition is to ask in faith [see James 1:6]. It is the wise that will inherit glory, but shame shall be the promotion of fools [Proverbs 3:35]. In the scriptures there is much to meditate upon when reading. Within its pages is the truth and wisdom for each of us to take hold of. Take time to read and heed it, for it is your life.

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom; and with all thy getting, get understanding.”

Proverbs 4:7

Lord God, help us to get wisdom and most of all help us to get understanding. Let us learn what the will of God is in all things. Guide our thoughts to the truth about money that we may have the right attitude towards it and that we may be willing to give to others who are in need. Help us to have an attitude towards giving and distributing to others. May it become a way of life. Bless those who give and have wisdom to share and teach others. In Jesus Name, Amen.