Skip to main content

January 13 2014: Proverbs 13

Just a note: I am posting this from written notes on January 13. The actual computer entry is being done on January 14, but I’ve set the date for the proper calendar spot. Yet, it is that simple. No, I don’t think you could fool a serious investigation with it, but do keep it mind when examining the blog world. I could write a post and backdate it before some crisis and claim prophetic skills. Dig deeper.

Proverbs 13:11 speaks to the accumulation of wealth. One thing to note first off is that the Bible is not explicitly anti-material wealth. The Scripture, as a whole, is firmly against making wealth an idol, using wealth badly, or sinning to acquire wealth. Having wealth, however, is not a sin—and neither is income inequality. Injustice is sinful, but is it injustice that a brain surgeon makes more than a small-time writer and rural church pastor? Not really: the brain surgeon has rightly earned her income, just as the pastor has his.

 

Coming forward, though, we see the proverb tells us that wealth gained by fraud dwindles. Now, wealth comes in several forms. There is material wealth. There is fame, there is power, there is reputation. Any form of this that one attains by fraud? It may peak, but it will plummet over time.

 

Fake your resume for a job? It’ll get caught, eventually—or in some manner, that comes back on you.

 

Defraud your workers to amp up your own retirement fund? Hose your customers to spike your holiday profits? Guess what? There’s a long-term horizon, and it will bite you. Hard in the backside. I think this is part of what has occurred in our economy—we made a lot of wealth outsourcing jobs in the 80s-90s, and now? We’re dwindling.

 

We defrauded ourselves into thinking money was enough, and began doing lots of business with some pretty nasty customers, and now our national wealth dwindles while we import everything from those countries. Long-term, consider even the oil needs. We’ve defrauded ourselves emotionally.

 

There is a positive side, though: gathering by labor increases.

 

If you are the one who consistently strives, does the work, it will accrue over time. It may not be all-cash, but the wealth of integrity is far better. And it is much better than destruction.

 

And now, a special note to my ministerial brethren:

 

Guess what, folks? When you spike a church’s attendance by gimmicks and tricks, it’s a fraud. When you choose not to preach the whole counsel of God, it’s a fraud.

 

And it may bring you wealth for a season. Some of you, it may bring book deals and speaking gigs.

 

But it will dwindle.

 

Instead, gather the wealth of the kingdom by steady labor: pray, teach, grow, reach, and gather the people that will serve God. Gather His laborers, gather eternal wealth: the reward of the obedient and faithful.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.



First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Foolishness: 1 Corinthians 1

In Summary: 1 Corinthians opens with the standard greeting of a letter from the Apostle Paul. He tells who he is with (Sosthenes) and who he is writing to. In this case, that is the “church of God that is in Corinth.” He further specifies that this church is made up of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. 
He then expresses the blessing/greeting of “grace and peace” from God. From there, Paul reflects on his initial involvement with the Corinthian people and the beginning of the church. After that, though, there are problems to deal with and Paul is not hesitant to address them. He begins by addressing the division within the church. Apparently, the church had split into factions, some of which were drawn to various personalities who had led the church in times past. There is no firm evidence, or even a suggestion, that Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else had asked for a faction in their name. Further, the “I follow Christ” faction may not have been any le…