On Wealth and Poverty

“The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will be watered also himself.”

— Proverbs 11:25

If I wanted to know about your real spiritual commitment, one of the means to check would be with how you handle money. It is an important indicator of our real, not just professed, priorities.

No moral system is complete unless it deals clearly and fully with the subject of wealth and the procurement and dealing with such. Since we live in a materialistic universe, it is quite evident that the individual cannot be moral unless he has food to eat, or should I put that more accurately, he cannot be moral or virtuous for very long unless he has food to eat.

Without clothing to wear it is not even possible to have civilization. In the case of the nation, it is vital that the nation rise beyond a bare subsistence level. There needs to be some people who do not have to engage in merely trying to get enough food and shelter to continue, but they may go on into education and the arts, music, and culture, and of course religion.

The Book of Proverbs has a great deal to say about the matter of wealth and our acquisition of it and its proper uses, as do more generally some of the other significant texts in the Bible.

Through Proverbs, God teaches us to be diligent workers, to plan ahead (while recognizing that the outcome is in His hands), to save as the ant does, and to be generous with everyone, especially the poor.

Lord, give me strength for today to be generous, to be genuinely concerned by other people’s needs, and to help where I can. Help me to refresh others and thus be refreshed myself…