“Wealth makes many friends, but the poor is separated from his neighbor.”
— Proverbs 19:4
Proverbs has much to say about practical living, including the advantages of wealth and the disadvantages of poverty. Saint Francis indeed might have taken poverty for his bride, but the wisdom of the book of Proverbs does not recommend it. For example, it says, “The rich man’s wealth is his strong city; the destruction of the poor is their poverty” (Proverbs 10:15).
Like Francis, there have been those of a more mystical bent who have glorified poverty, and yet this is not what wisdom would have us see. As far as this book of the Bible is concerned, the destruction of the poor is their poverty. Indeed, poverty can be a devastating thing, and there are those in our cities today who know full well the truthfulness of this ancient wisdom.
Proverbs tells us that the rich man gains many advantages through his power of giving gifts. It brings him before great men. It procures for him universal friendship, such as that friendship may be, and it enables him to pacify the anger of an adversary—for a gift given to an angry man pacifies anger, we are told. Not only does his wealth make for him many friends, but it also secures positions of influence and authority over those who are not wealthy. It enables him to rise to positions of prominence, to hold places in parliaments or obtain governorships or other such offices as this. Above all, the Bible says to trust in God and not in uncertain riches.
Lord, You give us what we have. Help us to be content and at the same time improve our income when we are able. Your kingdom goes forth through funding, including that from the affluent. Help us to use what we have for Your honor and glory…
BY GOD’S STRENGTH, WE CAN USE
OUR RICHES TO BUILD HIS KINGDOM.