Probing Proverbs 13:10-11 Pride leads to conflict; those who take advice are wise. Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time.
This section of Proverbs brings two critical issues together that affect all of us. Interestingly, the issues are looked at from 2 different spectrums. As usual, with Proverbs, the Truths being communicated would do us well to heed them.
The two issues are; How we view ourselves, and, How we view wealth. Each individual must decide what kind of person they are, and they must decide how they will handle money.
There is nothing more important to every human being than to understand how they see themselves, for that image impacts everything else they do in life, that is why when we see ourselves as individuals made new through Christ, it produces a new self worth. An individual with no self worth lives a life of fear and despair. In this passage we see the person that lives by pride versus the one that lives in humility. Let’s have a simple definition of pride used in the Hebrew: This kind of Pride is a sense of self-importance, (notice not self worth) which brings defiance and even rebelliousness.
Notice what the product produced is – Conflict! When an individual places himself or herself as number 1, the main focus, their way is always right, what they leave in their wake is conflict! There can be no peace, UNLESS you agree with them. What fascinates me is the number of times I have counseled individuals like this and their greatest confusion in life is why they cannot seem to develop deep friendships or even hold on to them.
On the other side is the person that is humble. It requires humility to admit you do not know it all and seek advice. That humility brings with it another great character fruit – Wisdom! Proverbs invests so much of its teaching in exhorting us to seek wisdom. Humility is one of the doors Wisdom enters through. When we allow God’s Spirit to teach us, either through the Word or other people, the outcome is we gain Wisdom – a commodity more valuable than gold!
The issue most of us struggle with after self image is money. It is what we use to live, so we cannot deny we need it or want it. The question is how do we approach it?
I have a firm belief that many of us…I am including myself…feel that if we had all the money we needed, we would feel more secure. Here is the subtle lie and the very enemy to our Faith. Even on our money we state “In God we trust!” I have found most struggle with balancing what are our needs versus our desires. Also, most fall for the subtle lie of where their needs will be supplied from. This Proverb exposes the folly of a wrong approach to riches. Why would we desire to be rich quick? The answer is obvious; we could relax about our “needs” being met. What we don’t see is the real translation: I won’t have to depend on anybody else for my needs – which is a “faith killer!” The wisdom of this Proverb is profound – when we get our money easy, statistics show that it vanishes just as quickly. The stewardship and faith in God it takes to work hard and save brings a discipline that teaches us not only what money is for, not only how to handle it, but also a firm conviction of Who really supplies the money!
Pride and a lust for money take you in the wrong direction in life. Remaining humble enough to take advice and working hard so God will honor your effort and will bless you with real wealth, not only the physical kind, but the eternal kind!
The So What: How much time do you spend being concerned about what people think of you? Do you have “self” esteem, or “real esteem?” Do you have to be right? Do you ever seek advice from people you respect? How much money have you spent on Lotteries? Do you believe money by itself will give you what you want in life? Do you keep all your wealth for you or do you share it as you feel led.