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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.


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