An Idea Borrowed

Years ago on a radio program someone shared that they read a chapter in Proverbs every day. Since there are 31 chapters and the longest month has 31 days it allows you to read through Proverbs on a regular basis. I use it as the launch pad for my personal worship time and branch out from there. On this blog I will try to share some of the insights I have in the Word. I will try to organize them in the archive by reference.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Diminished Returns

(Proverbs 13:11 KJV)  Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.

At first reading this seemed to be an attack on “wealth” (1952).  The problem with that is it is not a consistent understanding of prosperity and riches.  The Bible does not condemn wealth, it demands accountability and stewardship. 

The real villain is “vanity” (fraud NASB) (1892).  Here the NASB margin tells us that the KJV is more literal.  What is the major element of this wrongness?  The problem is not the bank balance but the attitude behind it.  Self centered, egotistical, narcissistic attitudes towards what we have will send us to hell.

Notice that for one action the reward is “diminished" (dwindles NASB) (4591) and for the other it grows.

So?  You can be poor and greedy.  You can be rich and generous.  It comes back to the attitude which is determined by whether Jesus is really Lord in your life. 


Gorges Smythe said...

I always thought that another angle on this is money that is earned as opposed to inherited. Stop and think how quickly you've seen some inheritances squandered, as opposed to those who've had to work for everything and know how hard it comes.

Pumice said...

I don't know if you have read any of The Millionaire Next Door books. Your point is one that he makes. It is amazing how many people who generate wealth have children who do nothing but waste it. That is probably why we have so many foundations set up by rich people.

It also seems to me that those who inherit wealth tend to be on the left and those who had to work for it are on the right.

Grace and peace.