Saturday, June 2, 2012

Proverbs, Pennies, and Me

My post today is a portion from Proverbs through the Generations, a book I co-wrote with my grandfather and dad. This O’More Publishing work will come out in about two weeks! As I’m reviewing how much I’ve been spending this previous month, I realized I needed the reminder.

A greatly misquoted Bible verse is 1 Timothy 6:10. The popular line is “money is the root of all evil,” when, in fact, the verse actually says, “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” (emphasis added).  In Proverbs 28 Solomon points out the tempting powers of riches. Just as the honey in Proverbs 25, so can the pursuit of wealth divert us from our true life goals as Christians.

However, affluence, in and of itself, won’t make us sin. Frivolity is not a path taken only by the rich; in fact, frivolity can be the very thing keeping a family from creating a secure financial status. People who have little, people who have a lot—anyone can waste; anyone can claim there isn’t enough. I’ve watched families make financial blunder after blunder because they couldn’t manage money. “If we made more, we’d be alright,” they say. Sometimes the amount you make does dictate your financial struggles. Recently a friend of mine named Tim Smith showed the other side, though, when he told me that if you make more, or make less, you’ll spend it. It makes me think that if you are unwise with little, you’d probably be unwise with a lot.

Financial security for your family is a noble goal. It shouldn’t be obtained by trickery or dishonesty or miser-hood, though. And wisdom in saving and spending should be a family task. Children should be taught how to handle money and budget by parents who set the example.

We cannot be distracted in life by the desire for riches, we cannot claim to be piously poor while we are, in fact, wasting God’s gifts and destroying security for our family, and we cannot even claim that a trust in the Lord to provide is the reason for our poor financial decisions. (God did provide, and we squandered it.) None of these lifestyles show a faithfulness and appreciation for God’s blessings, and all of them will leave us feeling poor.

You can tell Jonas loves a good deal as much as I do. 

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  1. I love the last sentence in your post. Accountability to the grace we have been given is the catalyst to the transforming presence of God in our lives. I am so grateful for this grace. It is the only reason why I have made well of second, third, and umteen chances to be a better steward in Gods Kingdom.
    Thanks for the great read.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks--I needed to hear it myself as well!

  3. So true! (The pictures are adorable!) (Visiting from What I Learned Linky.)

  4. This is such a good post. It covers BOTH sides of the case, one of which is often ignored. We've all heard the truth that chasing wealth with the wrong mindset can lead to sin, but few talk about how living poor with the wrong mindset can do the same.

    Living poor with a frugal mentality is noble. Living poor cause you've made excuses to waste and squander is shameful. 1 Timothy 5:8 takes an even stronger stance: "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."

    Wow. Worse than an unbeliever if you're not taking care of your household? Strong words for sure. Thank you for calling out the martyrdom poor as well as the distracted rich.

    1. Thanks, Tim! I always love hearing your comments!