The Way Up (And Down)
At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: There is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great richesProverbs 13:7
It is better to be a wise steward of hardly anything at all, than to be a lousy steward of a great amount. Poor people can become wealthy and rich people can become poor, and it all depends on what they do with what they have.
In this proverb, the poor man and the rich man both share a commodity and, as it turns out, they both have the same amount of that. That commodity (better called a grace, or a gift) is seen in the shared phrase “maketh himself.” Maketh is a verb, and verbs occur in time.
Each of them has 24 hours, and each of them has 7 days. When it comes to time, no man is wealthier than another. Time is God’s currency, and He never permits any inflation at all. So as it turns out, if a man husbands his nothing carefully, he will grow wealthy. And if another man fritters away his riches, this will bring him down to nothing over time.
There are three characteristics (and their opposite) which display this wisdom (or folly) over time. The first is the honoring of God financially, the second is hard work, and the third is generosity. In short, tithing, working, and giving. This is God’s way to a wealth that is blessed by Him, as opposed to the kind of riches that are kept in a bucket with a hole in it. The counterpart to God’s path to financial blessing is refusing to tithe, neglecting work, and prodigal spending. And of course, people being the way they are, there are some who are in transition between the two types.