Earnest Earnings Encourage Others
One man pretends to be rich but has nothing; another pretends to be poor but has great wealth. Riches are a ransom for a man’s life, but a poor man hears no threat. The light of the righteous shines brightly, but the lamp of the wicked is extinguished. Arrogance leads to nothing but strife, but wisdom is gained by those who take advice. Wealth obtained by fraud will dwindle, but whoever earns it through labor will multiply it. Prov 13:7-11 (HCSB)
In this world wealth is every man’s desire. No one desires poverty. As the husband and father of the family, man desires to provide amply for his wife and for his children, but there is so much emphasis upon what are to be viewed as the necessities. Today, it is so much more than just food, clothing and shelter. Families expect to experience the best of technology… computers, smart phones, virtual huge screen televisions, I-pods & I-pads, and digital gaming. Our lives are directed most often by the voice of Siri than our loved ones.
And, for convenience, now deemed a necessity, we cannot exist with just a car; we now invest in one for every member of our family when they get old enough too! But of course, mom likely is at least working part-time to help out, while running the younger kids around to all the sporting events and special activities that you have invested in for them to participate in.
Phew! How can any husband-father expect earnest earnings to be sufficient to fulfill all that is demanded in today’s society? Well, we all have choices to make and the passage from Proverbs reminds of how to keep a right focus. First of all, do not try to be what you are not, or debt will be your only claim to fame. If all you desire is to have more wealth to give more to your family, then all your life will be is a constant strain as you pursue what you can never have enough of…
Living a Christian life means knowing that if you choose wisely and earnestly seek contentment with what you have, you will always have enough, and your children and wife will always be satisfied with what they have. In truth, you will be a beacon of hope to others who have the wrong focus on what reality is for them, and they will come to you for advice about living a successful life. Yet, your advice will be simple as you point them to God’s Word as your manual for success. You will reveal by your choices that you gladly live within the means that God has allowed you to live, and are diligent in everything that you do as if seeking to honor God by your effort alone. You also honor God by gladly returning a portion to God as a sign of thanksgiving too! As a result, work is not a burden but a blessing, and your actions and attitude reveals the biblical principle that “you reap what you sow…”
There are no shortcuts in life, but there are easier paths to pursue. The widest and heaviest traveled path is not also the easiest way either. God’s way although seemingly narrow and least traveled is always the most rewarding, but the path requires faith and obedience along the way which teach us what is the right way, but the rewards are far beyond the “stuff” society uses to measure success. The greatest reward is the knowledge that God never asks you to travel alone, he offers help when you are weary and feel laden down.
What is the point of this passage? When we choose rightly the ways we should go, our family is blessed; our friends and neighbors are blessed. Not only are you able to help those who have needs, but you are there to encourage them by the example of your life as well. All God desires for you is be a light for others to see his love through your life. So let your light shine and focus upon the treasures that God values and your family will be more than satisfied.
“You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven”. Matt 5:14-16 (HCSB)