Pride And Riches


Rich people may think they are wise,
    but a poor person with discernment can see right through them.

~Proverbs 11:28, NLT


To see a prosperous man that is humble, is the greatest rarity in the world.

~Bernard of Clairvaux

Proverbs deals with a lot of generalities: it is not impossible for a rich man to be humble, but as Bernard said, “It is rare.” With money, or wealth, comes added responsible and added temptation. I am not shocked at Agur’s prayer in Proverbs 30… Give me neither poverty nor riches!  Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name. Agur didn’t want the temptations that come with either extreme: rich people are tempted to leave God out and take credit for their riches and poor people are tempted to steal. I’m with Agur; lead me not into temptation. My track record is not good when it comes to temptation so the less, the better, as far as I am concerned.

Rich people invariably attribute their wealth to their own cleverness, ingenuity and work habit. To hear them tell it, the rest of us just don’t work as hard as they do; which by the way is not true. There is a difference between working hard and working smart. Some of us were not cut out to be rich; we lack the smarts. My daddy worked hard {he finished concrete} and he did the best he could do. He was a good neighbor but a horrible business man. He let a relative talk him into investing in a peach orchard that was a total bust. If you count the time, equipment, fertilize, spray, and the trees themselves–the investment would have been at least 10,000 dollars which would be like a 100,000 today. Some people have the knack, they have the gift and then there are those like me. I’ve always had to make money by working. I couldn’t sale a spoon if it was raining soup–everyone would be wanting a fork. A friend told one of my friends just this week: “I can make a thousand dollars a day just shopping and swapping.” I would starve if I had to shop and swap for a living. Do you know why God took care of all the Israelites needs in the wilderness? So they couldn’t say they did it themselves. Moses told them: Remember the LORD your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful. Don’t dare leave God out of the equation: if He didn’t want you to have wealth, you wouldn’t have it. You mess with Him and He can take your breath, just like He did to the fool in Luke twelve. Then we will see how much you have and how clever you have been.

Got a text from Nayola last night: Felton is going to Rehab for 21 days; he is better and so is Johnny Burnett. They moved Pat Vanderford’s surgery up to today so let’s make this a prayer day for Brenda and Pat. They already know that there is cancer in the kidney, we are praying for it to be contained inside the kidney.

I got a call Monday night; a good friend in Cherokee, Alabama died of heart failure. His name is J.T. Harrison and his mom use to live in Hartselle. Of course that was 45 years ago. June and I will be leaving in a bit for J.T..’s COLS. Please pray for Mary Ann his wife. She is one of the sweetest people on the planet and her mom was the same way. It is a grave side service and I could use a little prayer. You do a great job praying me through these things. The service is at 11:00 am.

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