Proverbs 28

19 A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies ends up in poverty.

20 The trustworthy person will get a rich reward, but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble.

21 Showing partiality is never good, yet some will do wrong for a mere piece of bread.

22 Greedy people try to get rich quick but don’t realize they’re headed for poverty.

So if you were intrigued, even just a little bit, by the title of this post and the pic, then what the proverbs say concerning the allure of wealth is true.  Wealth, money, riches, etcetera, all need to come with a warning on them stating something like, “WARNING: Be careful what you long for!”

Let’s admit it, I think there is something in all of us that wouldn’t mind if a few zeroes were added to the balance of our bank account or investments (unless of course your statements are at zero).  Have you ever dreamed of winning the lottery?  What about when you bought that lottery ticket?  How much time did you spend thinking of all the things you could do with all the free time that would be available to you?

Have you ever been drawn to the multi-level marketing companies?  “You too can have it all!!  But you must act quickly so that you don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!”  No?  I have.  When I was seventeen, my older brother became a ‘distributor’ for cleaning products and was telling me how easy it was to sell, and how much I could earn by selling one bottle.  I was sold.  And so I too became a ‘distributor’ and went and found my first customer – our church custodian.  The product said that it could take coffee stains out of cloth covered chairs.  Our church had both the chairs and the coffee stains.  I mixed the proper strength up, sprayed it on the chair, rubbed it in, waited, and then wiped it off. Voila!  The stain was still there!  Grrrr.  Clearly I didn’t make a sale.  I went back to my bro and asked him what was up.  He explained that I just tell the customer that I will go back to the ‘lab’ (read – kitchen) and instructed me to double up on the strength, but just don’t say anything to them.  Right!  So much for getting rich!

There is a particular path we are to walk in this life, and if we choose to walk it, then we will find success in whatever we put our hands to.  That path is called, ‘hard work’, and no, it’s not super-attractive, but it will work for you just about every time.  The temptation is when someone or some thing comes along and suggests that there is a shortcut that you can take.  But remember, when you say ‘yes’ to a shortcut, you are also saying ‘no’ to wisdom and common sense.  When you veer off the well-worn path of wisdom, you are entering into the dense forest of disappointments, pitfalls, and poverty.  Anything that poses as the secret to everything you’ve always wanted – just toss.  You don’t need it and you definitely don’t want it.  Take the path of wisdom, because on that path you will not only gain wisdom, you will also mature as a human being and be known as a person of godly character.  In the end, you will be known as a rich and wealthy person, in more ways than one!

Stay on the path and watch your life grow!


Be Nice and Don’t Sign…SERIOUSLY!

"Sure, I can get my dad to co-sign, no problem."“It’s poor judgment to guarantee another person’s debt or put up security for a friend.”  Proverbs 17: 18

This is one of those interesting and sometimes puzzling proverbs, but it makes you go, “Does the Bible really say, “It’s poor judgment to guarantee another person’s debt or put up security for a friend.”? In other words, “Don’t co-sign that loan for your friend!” But aren’t we supposed to help out our friends and family when they get into a jam? Help, yes. Co-sign, NO. Enable, NO. There is a difference.

So what is this all about, anyway. Well, have you ever ‘loaned’ somebody money, and then they forget to pay you back when they had promised? And then the next month comes along and again they forget or don’t quite have all the money they promised. And this happens month after month. The relationship begins to show a few cracks and it is now compromised. Resentment, anger, regret, and avoidance become the norm for the relationship. What was once a mutually honouring friendship has now soured.

So here’s the lesson… Even if the person is your friend or your sibling, you are not doing them a favour by securing their debt or co-signing their loan. First, the relationship has now gone from friend-friend, parent-child, brother-sister, to creditor-debtor. In one respect, it’s now a master-slave relationship. I know, that sounds harsh, but really, that’s what it is. Secondly, it’s probably a safe assumption that you are dealing with someone who lacks wisdom when it comes to money. Rather than learning how to use money properly, it is easier for them to ask someone to bail them out. As bad as that may sound, the reality is that they were willing to place the relationship in jeopardy for the sake of money.

If you want to be biblical and help them out while protecting the relationship, you have two options. Gently explain to them that you do not want to jeopardize the relationship and ‘loaning’ them money would do just that. The other option is to give them the money with no strings attached. Regardless of which option you choose, offer to show them how to wisely manage their money. It will pay dividends for the rest of their life, and save a friendship!