God has a lot to say about wisdom and folly, righteousness and wickedness in His word. Proverbs, in particular, is filled with wisdom that applies as much today as it did when Solomon wrote it thousands of years ago. Human nature has not changed and neither has application of God’s word for how we are to deal with our fellow man.
Let us explore some of what God has said in Proverbs 11 that pertains to finances. I have included a link to reference to the whole scripture but pulled out some selected verses that are more directly relevant to finances. We can walk through them together.
1A false balance is an abomination to the LORD,
But a just weight is His delight.
God clearly calls us to be treat one another as we would want to be treated. Be just and fair. Note the emphasis revealed through scripture… God is not just academically identifying right and wrong, but actually considers one an abomination and the other to bring delight! It matters to God and thus it should matter to us.
2When pride comes, then comes dishonor,
But with the humble is wisdom.
Let us not act in such a way as to honor ourselves or make ourselves feel better than others, but rather seek humility and seek to honor the Lord and treat others with respect.
3The integrity of the upright will guide them,
But the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them.
Knowing and following God’s way provides a clear path to righteousness. Temptation of the flesh often tempts us to go the way of the world, but God wants us to live His way. When we pursue deceit and treachery, it will consume us and we will find no lasting satisfaction or joy.
4Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
But righteousness delivers from death.
There is no amount of riches that will mean anything when it is time for us to leave this world and face judgment before God. Only our right relationship with God will matter. Why give that up just to try to get a few dollars more or even a lot of dollars more?
5The righteousness of the blameless will smooth his way,
But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.
6The righteousness of the upright will deliver them,
But the treacherous will be caught by their own greed.
In business as in life, a righteous lifestyle of godly attitudes and behavior will take us closer to God and bring much success. Greed is an empty pit which can never be filled, it will consume you and dominate your life if left unchecked or worse, embraced.
14Where there is no guidance the people fall,
But in abundance of counselors there is victory.
In personal finances, whether budgeting or reducing debt or investing, do not try to do it all alone as if you have all the answers. Seek good counselors to help you! Seek firm guidance from God and those who have already experienced and overcome the challenges you face today.
15He who is guarantor for a stranger will surely suffer for it,
But he who hates being a guarantor is secure.
It is unwise to be a guarantor for someone you do not know. How can you trust them? Do not lend what you are not willing to give.
17The merciful man does himself good,
But the cruel man does himself harm.
18The wicked earns deceptive wages,
But he who sows righteousness gets a true reward.
Show mercy to others as you would like to receive yourself. Avoid cruelty. Treat others as you would like to be treated. You may think you get ahead with deceit and wicked schemes, but it brings much emptiness and trouble along with the ill-gotten gain.
24There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more,
And there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want.
25The generous man will be prosperous,
And he who waters will himself be watered.
26He who withholds grain, the people will curse him,
But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.
Be generous in helping others and give the glory to God. Bless others in His name and watch as the blessings flow into your own life. The blessings will almost surely outweigh what you gave, though it is not necessarily dollars that God gives you but rather joy and closer relationship with Him!
28He who trusts in his riches will fall,
But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.
Trust not in money and wealth, but in God, Himself, and you will flourish.
It is not right or helpful to say “I was born this way” as an excuse to continue in wickedness or foolishness. To remain in foolishness does not improve our situation, does it? It does not help us manage our money or our lives more effectively, does it?
We are all born to sin and selfishness. No one needs to teach a child to grab or demand something for themselves or hit someone when they are angry, but we certainly need to teach them to forgive and share and think of others. We can say that an alcoholic may be born with a tendency to become addicted to alcohol but do we not encourage them to turn from it and overcome that sin rather than embrace it and accept it? Of course! So it is also with other sins.
We must be careful to look to God’s definition of sin, of right and wrong, rather than the world’s definition. If we follow a broken compass, will we not get lost?
Each of us must decide if we will take the difficult, narrow path that leads to Jesus or if instead we will stay on the wide, easy path that leads to eternal separation from God… following our own selfish desires and the deception of Satan.
I pray as many as will hear the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ will accept it and travel the narrow path.
Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way and use it for His glory rather than your own. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .