The Bible speaks to people living in a real world. We see that in the choice of words used in this verse. We all understand the value of gold and silver. What we may not understand in our modern age of technology and service industries are the words used for increase.
The first word is “merchandise" (profit NASB) (5504). In Solomon’s day this brought to mind the caravans of the desert or the small sailing ships of the day. Money was in use but much of the trade was still done in a form of barter. You would take something and trade it for an object of greater value. Some things that are necessary were not traded because they were too heavy or bulky. An industry selling bottled water would have brought puzzled looks to the brows of people who hauled things on the backs of camels.
The second word is “gain” (8393). This is the word of the farmer. It is not an increase that comes from trade but from growth. The word is used in verse 9 as “produce” (NASB) or “increase” (KJV).
(Proverbs 3:9 KJV) Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:Wisdom and understanding are more valuable than anything we can get from business or farming.
So? Don’t quit your job or stop weeding your garden. That is not the point. The point is to keep things in perspective. Does your job keep you from time with the Lord? Find a way. or maybe it is time to change your job. Does your garden take all your spare time? Move to an apartment. Priorities, people.