Wise Words on Wealth (Part 2)

Read “Wise Words on Wealth”  Part 1 | Part 3

A German saying goes this way, “He who borrows sells his freedom.”

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That’s why Proverbs 22:7 warned us, “Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender.” [1] When we incur debt, we already imprison ourselves mentally and emotionally even if we are not yet physically in jail. According to The Message version, “The poor are always ruled over by the rich, so don’t borrow and put yourself under their power.”

[Today, we continue with our F-I-N-A-N-C-E-S acronym. We already saw that “F” stands for ‘First Give To God” and “I” stands for “Invest in Yourself.”]

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“N” stands for “Never Live A Life Of Debt.” Borrowing money is not necessarily wrong. Borrowing money as a lifestyle is not right. Romans 13:8 commanded us, “Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another.” According to The Bible Knowledge Commentary, “This is not a prohibition against a proper use of credit”. [2] The command “Owe nothing to anyone” is in the present tense. That means we are not keep on owing or getting into debts. That’s why The Message version translated it this way: “Don’t run up debts.” It’s also in the active voice, that is, we should actively keep ourselves from living a life neck deep in debt.

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Warren Wiersbe clarified, “[T]he Bible does not forbid borrowing or legal financial transactions that involve interest. What the Bible does forbid is the charging of high interest, robbing the brethren, and failing to pay honest debts (see Ex. 22:25–27; Neh. 5:1–11). Matthew 25:27 and Luke 19:23 indicate that banking and investing for gain are not wrong. Certainly no one should get into unnecessary debt, or sign contracts he cannot maintain. ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ But to make Romans 13:8 apply to all kinds of legal obligations involving money is, to me, stretching a point.” [3]

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“Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time.” (Proverbs 13:11)

“A” stands for “Avoid ‘Get Rich Quick’ Schemes.” From gambling to scams, people get trapped in their desire to get rich quick. Other than being born to a rich family or receiving a huge inheritance, there’s really no shortcut to becoming rich except through hard work. We all heard the story of poor people who won millions in the lottery who ended up poorer after squandering what they won. One of the reasons why they are poor in the first place is because they don’t actually know how to handle big sums of money. So, when they find themselves suddenly rich, the huge amount overwhelmed them. Instead of being a blessing, it became a curse to them. But if they work hard, as their wealth increases, their capacity to handle money increases, also. As The Message version goes, “Easy come, easy go, but steady diligence pays off.” [4]

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Even if we are not gambling or getting into scams, we could still have that “get rich quick’ mentality. How? When we get into investments blindly or hastily, like buying shares of stocks without even studying how to invest in the stock market first. It would be wrong to expect that we would rake in profits the soonest possible time. That’s not how investments work. Such mentality even with legitimate investments would lead to disappointment and even bankruptcy.

One sure way to avoid getting caught in that “get rich quick” mentality is to immerse yourself in understanding how to invest and what investments are available for us. Or else, instead of a windfall, we might get blown over.

Read “Wise Words on Wealth”  Part 1 | Part 3

[1] All Bible verses are from the New Living Translation, unless otherwise noted. Emphasis added. 

[2] John A. Witmer, “Romans” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, Eds. John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983, 1985) 491. 

[3] Warren Wiersbe, “Romans” in The Bible Exposition Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1989) 557.

[4] Emphasis added.


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