Focus: Righteousness and justice regarding wealth
Proverbs 16:8 (NKJV) Better is a little with righteousness, than vast revenues without justice.
The statement you just finished reading was written by someone who was possibly the wealthiest man in history. King Solomon knew what he was talking about. If you ever want to study about wealth, study Solomon’s life. His wealth was staggering.
It’s interesting how God has allowed some people to obtain vast fortunes, while others live in abject poverty. Obviously, not everyone who follows the Lord is called to be rich. By the same token, not everyone is called to be poor.
Sometimes God may allow a person with wealth to lose everything and consequently, understand poverty. But there have been many people who spent almost everything they had to come to this country. Starting with nothing, they overcame obstacles and rose to positions of leadership and obtained great wealth, through hard work and perseverance.
Some people who are rich, are poor at heart. Others who don’t have much of anything, feel like they are highly blessed and lack nothing.
There is no question that God uses finances—or the absence of finances to purify people. It’s hard to know what God may be doing in the life of any person, and how He may be using wealth or poverty to draw them to Himself. We can’t know the purpose of God for everyone—or whether being rich or poor is their cross to bear.
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Having wealth doesn’t guarantee anything at all. People who seem to be very prosperous are not always happy. Some people who once had much, had to lose it all before they were able to know that what they really needed, was God. Other people had to become successful in order to realize that success wasn’t what they anticipated it would be. Often, people who started out with nothing and then achieved financial ‘security’, look back over their life and realize they were much better off with less.
The Bible has a lot of references about the woes of wealth. Not to say that there weren’t wealthy people who followed after God. In fact, some of the well-known men of God in Bible times had great prosperity. However, it’s a common misconception that having money solves everything. People who have it, will agree that having money is complicated.
Many wealthy people have to constantly be watching out for those who would try to take advantage of them. Dishonest people are always looking for ways to make use of other people’s money. Wealth can put people in a position of being envied by others who have less, and are jealous. Some wealthy people can’t enjoy life because they don’t feel safe.
When money has been gained through injustice, a wealthy person might be tormented by guilt and anxiety. They may become paranoid and unable to live a normal life, knowing that they may be caught at any time. If they are found out, they know they will have to face the consequences of their greed.
Few people set out to get rich in order to bless those who have less than they do. Often, wealth is hoarded and some who are wealthy protect themselves from conviction by closing their eyes to the needs of the poor.
Sometimes wealthy people are charitable in order to avoid taxes, while some give enough to ease their consciences and feel better about keeping what they have left. Few people—rich or poor—are willing to give more than they retain.
Justice comes when the wealthy and the poor recognize that financial blessing–great or small–is to be shared. Whatever your status, be sure to keep your focus on righteousness and contentment. Be a good giver whether you have a lot or a little. Learn to be content with less and learn to know the joy of generosity.
Examine your life for evidence of true peace in the area of finances. If you find yourself defensive after reading this segment, ask your self “why.” Above all, allow righteousness to rule in your heart. If you have wealth that has been gained through injustice—find a way to make things right. If you are consumed with jealousy because you don’t have as much wealth as your neighbor—find a way to resolve those feelings, also.
Declaration: I will find new strength by examining my life for evidence of true peace in the area of financial blessing. If I am guilty of jealousy or greed—I will find ways to make those feelings right, through confession and restitution.
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