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July 12, 2020 Wealth, at what cost?

Hello. Today I want to tackle a key issue that eats at the fabric of our society especially among the younger generation. There is this drive to become wealthy, to hustle and do anything within our means to make money, without any regards to matters of integrity and character. We see young people living their lives by the mantra, “get rich or die trying”. Do not get me wrong, I am not against young people applying themselves and being diligent in what they do, and making money from it. What I am concerned about is this craze to make wealth through criminal & occult means, breaking the laws of God and men, and then flashing the ill-gotten wealth to show that we have arrived. Arrived where exactly?

I saw a quote once that is credited to both Dorothy Parker and Joe Moore which says, “If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to”. Others may shrug their shoulders and fire back that “before God starts thinking, let him give me the money first”. So let us settle the basics first. There are some things that I have seen in this my short stay on earth that have made me come to the conclusion that some things are just a matter of time. The unemployed graduate who has shared more copies of his CV than he cares to count, will one day be gainfully employed by someone or open his own business that too many rejection letters will open his eyes to other opportunities. Many CEO’s and MDs today of businesses have a back story that most of us do not know. We only see the glory.

I recently went through the book of Proverbs and if you have ever been tempted to get wealth through the fast and slippery slope and you are a sincere believer, I urge you to read that book again. It will cure you of the temptation to soil your hands and any possible backsliding. The book of Proverbs is a rich treasure of proverbs, wise sayings that can guide a young man/woman’s life to the path of godly success, wisdom and honour. As Africans, I am sure we are used to hearing lots of proverbs from our parents or elders around us, but these are godly proverbs penned down by different people inspired by God, though mostly Solomon, and they were mostly kings.

I will post some of the scriptures here but let me summarise all that the Book of Proverbs tells us about ill-gotten wealth: you will be found out, you can never be established taking that route and you will not go unpunished. Basically the wisdom here is that it is not worth the risk, God is not pleased with such a heart, and that there is more peace when you have little with the fear of the Lord, than when you have amassed all the wealth in the world and yet you have no peace with God. Is that wealth really worth your lack of peace with God? Remember that a million donations to charity or community projects cannot buy back your peace with God.

Do not be enticed by the flashy cars, massive mansions, exclusive private jets and all the razzmatazz you see on social media. If there is no clear legitimate source of business behind all that flashy lifestyle, and I am not talking about a “converted” business from ill-gotten wealth, a day of reckoning is coming. The Bible warns us that even if we escape the judgment of men, that we cannot escape that of God. If you are reading this and have been enticed to leave the straight and narrow path that leads to salvation, you can repent and ask God for strength to do right and live right. Don’t sell your conscience for a morsel of bread or wads of cash. Trust God to establish you instead in righteousness.

 

Proverbs 10: 2 – Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit, but righteousness delivers from death

Proverbs 10 v 9: Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his way crooked will be found out

Proverbs 12 v 3: No one is established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous will never be moved. (ESV)

If you want to know more about what God thinks about criminal and shady routes to wealth, please feel free to check out these other verses: Proverbs 5: 21-23; Prov 6:16-19; Prov 21: 6; Prov 11 v 5; Prov 11:31; Prov 15:16; Prov 21:15; Prov 23:4-5; Prov 28: 20.

God also has an opinion on true wealth and you can also find this in the same Proverbs: Chapters 3: 1-2 & 13-16; Prov 8: 17-18; Prov 10:22; Prov 21 v 21. Permit me to end by quoting Prov 24:19-20:

Fret not yourself because of evildoers, and be not envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out

So let us please be encouraged to follow God sincerely and let us not allow the desire and pursuit of wealth to create a chasm between us and God. It is a costly price to pay for wealth and lack of peace. Too costly!

 

picture credits: the internet

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