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Life wisdom considers finances

November 9, 2021

Daily Scripture

Proverbs 3:5-11; Proverbs 13:7-11; Proverbs 21:2-7

Proverbs 3:5-11

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
don’t rely on your own intelligence.
6 Know him in all your paths,
and he will keep your ways straight.
7 Don’t consider yourself wise.
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
8 Then your body will be healthy
and your bones strengthened.
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth
and with the first of all your crops.
10 Then your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will burst with wine.
11 Don’t reject the instruction of the Lord, my son;
don’t despise his correction.

Proverbs 13:7-11

7 Some pretend to be rich but have nothing,
while others pretend to be poor, but have great riches.
8 Wealth can ransom a person’s life,
but the poor don’t even receive threats.
9 The light of the righteous rejoices,
but the lamp of the wicked goes out.
10 The empty-headed cause conflict out of pride;
those who take advice are wise.
11 Riches gotten quickly [or from meaninglessness] will dwindle,
but those who acquire them gradually become wealthy.

Proverbs 21:2-7

2 Everyone’s path is straight in their own eyes,
but the Lord weighs the heart.
3 Acting with righteousness and justice
is more valued by the Lord than sacrifice.
4 Prideful eyes, an arrogant heart, and
the lamp of the wicked are all sinful.
5 The plans of the diligent end up in profit,
but those who hurry end up with loss.
6 Those who gain treasure with lies
are like a drifting fog, leading to death.
7 The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
for they refuse to act with justice.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Proverbs pictured divine wisdom (the “speaker” in Proverbs 3) as a woman teaching in the public square (cf. Proverbs 1:20-21). Scholar John Walton saw this theme in the wisdom of Proverbs: “While wealth is considered a good thing, and even a gift of Yahweh when acquired honestly, it is not the most important thing by far. If a decision must be made between wealth or a right relationship with God, or between having much or having love and peace, then the latter of each pair is far better.”*

  • Proverbs noted that, as a general rule, steadily working toward financial goals is far wiser than any “get rich quick” scheme. Have you ever worked steadily toward a goal, and felt the inner satisfaction when your disciplined pursuit paid off? On the other hand, have you ever had a financial windfall, and then regretted impulsively “blowing it”?
  • Scholar Paul Koptak wrote, “[Proverbs] 3:5 should not be used to support the notion that this confidence is a sort of blind trust that suspends critical judgment…. 3:5-6 speak more about guidance in ethical behavior than particular choices such as career or mate.”** Why would God invite us to partner with him in deciding specific life choices, rather than simply telling us exactly what to do in all cases?

O God, as we just studied, when I’m open to your Spirit, you grow fruit like patience and self-control in me. Guide me as I apply that fruit in the financial area of life as well. Amen.

GPS Insights

Randy Greene

Randy Greene

Randy Greene was a member of the Resurrection Experience team at the church and helped shape all of our online tools for connection. He is a graduate of Central Seminary in Shawnee and loves to write stories about faithfulness. He left the church staff earlier this year, but first wrote this insightful blog for us in 2020.

One of the greatest gifts my parents have given me is their example of generosity. As a kid, I remember them writing checks every month to countless missionaries, charities, and churches, supporting the work of God throughout the world. They donated to friends who created Christian educational materials for children, to people at church who lost loved ones and couldn’t pay for the funeral, to every church they’d been a part of as the Air Force moved our family around the country.

Even while our family of six was living in a small, military apartment, my parents were giving. And their giving didn’t stop at financial gifts. They took in pets for people who couldn’t care for them any more. They were deeply involved in the life of the church, teaching Sunday Schools and serving in whatever ways they could (and encouraging us, their children, to serve, too), and spending their time and energy in many other ways to nurture the life and wellness of the church community.

I think my parents are probably the most generous people I’ve ever known. And I say “I think” there because I actually don’t know how much they’ve given, or even how much they continue to give now that they’re retired. They have never shared with me, their child, how much of their income they give away, because they never wanted it to be about a dollar amount.

For them, it was always about having a posture of generosity. They knew that they felt blessed by God, and they wanted to pass those blessings on to the people around them.

It is that posture of generosity that they wanted to pass on to their children, and that generosity is something I aspire to every day.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, eBook (Kindle Locations 141096-141098). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

** Paul E. Koptak, Proverbs in The NIV Application Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2003, p. 120.