Saturday, March 28, 2009

Proverbs 28 "Money, Money, Money"

Money does funny things to people. It can really show our true colors. I remember as a kid, I could never save money. It was always burning a hole in my pocket. In fact I worked 4 months at a an A&W resturant; and when I was done working there I had nothing to show for it. My sister, on the other hand, was a saver. She always had money for things. It drove me crazy. I think one of the hardest things for me in my life is learning to have a healthy Godly relationship with my finances. It helps to have a really wise frugal hubby to help in the process.

It is time to talk about how God see the rich and poor. I see a few aspects of this topic carried through out all of proverbs; but it seems to be focused on here a little more in Proverbs 28. I would be very wrong to study all through proverbs and never touch the topic. Jesus was very concerned about the status of a rich mans heart and the care for the poor. Once again God is looking at the motives of our heart, when it comes to money who is in control? God? Money?

Our Personal Financial Status

He who is rich by greed

8 He who increases his wealth by exorbitant interest amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor.

11 A rich man may be wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has discernment sees through him.
I think that is ironic that one who is greedy tends to not be very smart at all. I think it is very true that people who are consumed with greed generally somewhere down the line lose it all. And if they do not lose it all in this world they have lost there soul. What a price to pay for all eternity. The part that is ironic is it is the poor man who can see through all the garbage of the rich man. Probably, because a poor man is always aware of his need whereas the rich man is oblivious to his need. He thinks he is in need of nothing except more money.

He who is rich by blessing

19 He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty

20 A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished

25 A greedy man stirs up dissension, but he who trust in the LORD will prosper.
So what does it mean to be rich as a Christian? I think these verses explain that topic nicely. We need to be hard workers and understand the value of the riches God has blessed us with. We then need to be faithful with what He has given to us. We must also Trust in the One who is full of blessings. We see that our hearts determine what controls us. We need to understand wants and needs and then we need to bless others with the financial blessing we have received. It is ludicrous to say that Christians should be poor. If we were all poor how would we care for the poor and the church as God commands? I think God is asking us to use discernment and use our money to meet only our needs. If we can not quickly understand that, then it will be harder to let go of some lifestyles we have grown accustomed to that are really just wants.

He who is poor because of sin

22 A stingy man is eager to get rich and is unaware that poverty awaits him.
I find this verse funny in some way. Stinginess can lead to financial ruin; and then that stingy man will be in need of someone who is not stingy to care for him. We must always be careful with our attitudes; we may never know that in the future how we act may come and bite us in the butt.

He who is poor and is blessed

6 Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a rich man whose ways are perverse
God wants us to understand that poverty is not always a punishment for sin. There are always poor people and there is always rich, bottom line. Sometimes, because of life circumstances we will never be rich financially and not because we are sinning. I am sorry if you believe that mubo jumbo for pastors on TV that if you get your life right you will get rich...they are just selling something. I would rather die poor knowing Christ's love than die rich never caring about Him. So the question is who is really rich; the poor man who loves Christ or the rich man who spits in His face?

What Does the Lord Require of Us?

27 he who gives to the poor will lack nothing but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.
I think this verse speaks for itself.

Friends, God wants us to understand the value of money and what we are to do with it. Money in and of itself is not evil; it is what our heart does with it that can be evil. It is our motives that control our thoughts toward money. It is not wrong to be rich and it is not wrong to be poor. However, it is wrong to be greedy and it is wrong to be lazy.

Lord, help us all bring money into a right perspective. Help us be a good steward with the blessings You have given us. Remind us to think of those who are less fortunate and give to them regularly. Help money to not control us, help us control it and use it for Your glory. Help us also remember it is all Yours anyways.

Today, I will...
Check out my friend's perspective on Chapter 28!

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