Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Give me Neither Poverty or Riches!

Meditation for the week of September 18, 2011

Remove falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches– Feed me with the food allotted to me; Lest I be full and deny You, And say, "Who is the LORD?" Or lest I be poor and steal, And profane the name of my God.  (Proverbs 30:8-9)

As a practicing CPA, I saw these principles in action that Agur wrote about.  Often people came to me when they were starting a business asking for help and advice.  Since most of them borrowed money to start the business, they were somewhat stressed as they worried about paying it back.  Then they would reach an equilibrium where their income pretty much balanced with their expenses which would include a nice salary.  Then some of the businesses would “take off” so to speak.  When they did, the owners became stressed once again because now they worried about losing what they had earned, and they had to worry about being good stewards of monies that they really didn’t need.  Sometimes they became self-sufficient and proud and made mistakes that they would not have made when they were poor.

The principle in this passage says that we are happiest when we have enough to meet our needs but not more than enough.  Solomon had more than enough and that may have been one reason why late in life he lost his loyalty to the God who had given him wisdom and riches.

Most people are motivated by money.  There are other things that motivate us as well; but whether we are poor or whether we are rich, money motivates.  The poor are concerned about “getting ahead” and “laying up for a rainy day.”  However, when we try to get ahead, we never know just how far ahead we should get.  Of course, if we lay up for a rainy day, it usually rains.  The rich are usually concerned with getting richer.

There are people who are not motivated by money and they just can’t understand how the rest of the world works.  I had a missionary friend who was like that.  As long as his bills were paid he was satisfied.  One day we started talking about some problems he was experiencing and I asked him how money was affecting the problem.  I told him something I had been told years before, “Look for the dollar!”  He couldn’t imagine that money was involved until he realized that he was having trouble with a missionary that needed him to leave the work he was doing so that the new missionary could come and be supported financially.  He just didn’t think that way and couldn’t believe others would.

Most wars are fought over money.  Most political “sides” are taken over money.  Often family problems develop over inheritances and money.  Divorces can get really messy because of money. 

Even though money is a great motivator, it is fleeting and is always left to others when we die.  One person asked a friend of a rich man who had died, “How much did he leave behind?”  The friend answered with one word, “Everything!”

The new testament is clear that money is a tool and is not to become a god.  We are to use money to help the poor.  Our money is not our security, our only security is in Christ.  Money can make an “earthly” people out of us, but the Lord wants our “treasure to be in heaven”.  Our focus is to be on the heavenly or spiritual and not on the the things of this earth.  We can get overly concerned with “winning” and with the power and prestige that comes from having a lot of money.

I have heard evangelists say to people who have recently come to faith in the Lord, “Your fortune has been made!”  That is certainly true. they have eternal life and they will never perish.  Their sins are forgiven.  They have become a people whose goal is to please the Lord and not to live for time and for money that is so fleeting.  We just need to be careful that we don’t get sidetracked and let money become our great motivator after we are saved.

Bruce Collins

1 Comment »

Comment by Shaiane

November 12, 2015 @ 4:10 am

“most”, but not “All”, please be aware) enjoy their masairelittic life and they seldom discuss social issues.I am sorry, I enjoy masairelittic life, but I also enjoy critical thinking. I want to know more social issues around my society.I am not a perfect Hong Kong teen. That is why I study overseas and learn what Americans do good.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>