When Riches Take Wings
For reading & meditation - Proverbs 23
"Do not wear yourself out to get rich.... Cast but a glance at riches ... for they will surely sprout wings and fly off ..." (vv. 4-5)
We move on now to consider yet another way in which life can break us - through financial disaster or material loss. Some Christians speak scornfully against money. I have heard them quote Scripture in this way: "Money is the root of all evil." They forget that the text actually reads: "The love of money is the root of all evil" (1 Tim. 6:10, KJV). Money in itself is not evil. It feeds the hungry, clothes the naked and succors the destitute, and through it many errands of mercy are performed. Some years ago the recorder at the Old Bailey made a statement which was reported in almost every newspaper. He said, "A couple of pounds very often saves a life - and sometimes a soul." It may be true that money cannot bring happiness but, as somebody said, "It can certainly put our creditors in a better frame of mind." Perhaps nothing hurts more than when life breaks us through a financial crisis, and we experience something of what the writer of the Proverbs describes - "riches taking wings." Can we be made strong at the broken place of financial failure? We can. I think now as I write of a man I knew some years ago who lost all his assets. Such was his financial crisis that he lost everything - literally everything. Life broke him. He came out of it, however, with a new philosophy that changed his whole attitude toward money. I am sure of this: life will never break him there again. He was made strong at the broken place. And so, my friend, can you be.
O Father, help me to settle once and for all my attitude toward this complex problem of money. If it is a weakness, then help me make it a strength. For Jesus' sake. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What did Jesus teach about possessions?
2. What is to be our priority?