I have a goal. I have a plan. I have dreams. They involve money.
What does wisdom say about that?
- What is my goal for wealth? I am overwhelmed with messages about wealth and retirement. They are everywhere I turn. Jesus says “Be generous. Give to the poor. Get yourselves a bank that can’t go bankrupt, a bank in heaven far from bankrobbers, safe from embezzlers, a bank you can bank on. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.” (Luke 12:33-34)
- Am I willing to wear myself out to get it? Trying to get wealthy will wear me out. There just enough hours in the day and there is always more to do.
- Do I understand that wealth is fleeting? Jesus says “Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.” (Matthew 6:19-21)
- What is God’s goal? God’s goal for me is focus on Jesus and being a good citizen of the Kingdom of God. God wants me to love. God wants me to use my money to be generous to others.
“Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich;
Riches disappear in the blink of an eye;
wealth sprouts wings
and flies off into the wild blue yonder.” ~King Solomon
Source: Proverbs 23:4-5
This proverb does not condemn wealth; it warns against the pursuit of wealth. Ecclesiastes also warns about pursuit of wealth and its inability to satisfy (Eccl 5:10).
It describes two situations: In one, a person pursues wealth but never enjoys it or finds satisfaction (Eccl 4:7–8). In the second, someone loses all their wealth and is left with nothing (Eccl 5:13–17).
These verses warn against overwork for the sake of gaining riches. This speaks not against being industrious but against consuming oneself for money. Wise restraint in this area (as well as in what one eats at a banquet, vv. 1–2) is needed, especially in the present day when materialism drives many people to excessive workloads in order to accumulate more money.
The reason for this advice is that riches are temporary and unstable .The first part of 23:5 is literally, “If you cause your eyes to fly after it” (i.e., wealth). Ironically, flying after wealth results in wealth flying away like an eagle.