Wealth and Riches

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“There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; and one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.” Proverbs 13:7

Some people have the ability to make themselves rich, financially they have all that they could ever want, but when you take a look a little deeper into their life you can see that they are really very poor. In fact they might tell you yourself if found in a moment of sincerity.

What are they poor in? Often true love, true friends, true respect, true relationships and true happiness. Why is that? Because they sacrificed all these things to gain that wealth. People “love” them for what they have, not for who they are, and that is a type of love that is actually quite cheap and unfullfilling. People are their “friends” because of the riches that they have, but they are only friends so long as they get something out of it. The respect is not a respect gained by their character but rather for what they have and its a respect that only lasts while they are in the same room as you- once they leave they are forgotten. I could go on, but I think you get the point.

Then there are those who don’t live for earthly riches, those that even sacrifice financially so that they can invest in their friendships, marriages, lifestyle and families as more important than their bank account. These are truly rich, because they have things that money cannot buy. You can’t buy love, you can’t buy happiness.

Only a few verses down Proverbs chapter 13:11 says “Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, but he who gathers by labor will increase.” The Bible always balances itself out. It first tells us there are things more important than financial wealth, and our hearts are cured from greed. Then it instructs us how to obtain wealth in a way that is increasingly higher. It is through honest diligent labor that you can grow in wealth, and that’s true for relationships as well as for your bank account.

Its not wrong to earn money, in fact the Bible says “…If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” (2 Thess. 3:15). So its Biblical to not be a mooch and to work for a living, and its Biblical that a man provides for his family. Its not sin to be rich. It just can’t be what you love to live for, or else you will find yourself rich in the world but still very poor in the things that can’t be bought.

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