As we continue examining God’s money-management principles, we discover a connection between wisdom and wealth.
- Wisdom gives wealth guidance.
If you have a choice between wisdom and wealth, count on it: wisdom is much to be preferred! With wisdom, you stand a better chance of gaining more wealth, but wealth cannot buy wisdom. And should you be fortunate enough to gain wealth, wisdom will keep you out of trouble.
Take my instruction and not silver,
And knowledge rather than choicest gold.
For wisdom is better than jewels;
And all desirable things cannot compare with her. . . . Riches and honor are with me, Enduring wealth and righteousness.
My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold,
And my yield better than choicest silver. (8:10–11, 18–19)
How much better it is to get wisdom than gold!
And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver. (16:16)
Wisdom provides the recipient of increased finances with the restraint needed to avoid economic disaster. Furthermore, wisdom helps us maintain that essential equilibrium, for much wealth can be a heady trip. In all of human history, riches have never made anyone honest or generous or discerning; wisdom must come aboard to steer our vessel around those dangerous shallow reefs. Which brings us to a fourth principle of money management.
- Increased riches bring increased complications.
As I examine the biblical record, I find several complications mentioned in the book of Proverbs:
- A false sense of security
The rich man’s wealth is his fortress,
The ruin of the poor is their poverty. (10:15)
A rich man’s wealth is his strong city,
And like a high wall in his own imagination. (18:11)
- A sudden burst of many new “friends”
He who walks in his uprightness fears the LORD,
But he who is devious in his ways despises Him. (14:2)
A man of too many friends comes to ruin,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (18:24)
Wealth adds many friends,
But a poor man is separated from his friend. (19:4)
- The increased probability of arrogance and pride
The poor man utters supplications,
But the rich man answers roughly. (18:23)
The rich man is wise in his own eyes,
But the poor who has understanding sees through him. (28:11)
- Increased moral temptations
Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
Nor let her capture you with her eyelids.
For on account of a harlot one is reduced to a loaf of bread,
And an adulteress hunts for the precious life.
Can a man take fire in his bosom
And his clothes not be burned?
Or can a man walk on hot coalsAnd his feet not be scorched? (6:25–28)
A man who loves wisdom makes his father glad,
But he who keeps company with harlots wastes his wealth. (29:3)
From Living the Proverbs by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired., an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
Used with permission. All rights reserved.