“Trust in your money and down you go! But the godly flourish like leaves in spring.” – Proverbs 11:28 NLT
This verse is pretty straight forward. It doesn’t leave much to the imagination or require a lot of explanation. If you trust in your money, you will find that it lets you down. It can’t be trusted. It is a poor substitute for God. In fact, money makes a lousy god.
Yet, most of us worship it in one form or another. If we don’t have enough of it, we dream of getting more. We devote our time and energy trying to earn more of it so that we can feel more secure, live more comfortably, and look more successful. The lack of money makes us desire more of it. It consumes our thoughts and causes us to envy those who have more than we do. We feel inadequate and as if we have been dealt a bad deal. We can’t understand why we have to struggle financially when others do not. Money becomes the solution to all our problems. With more of it, we think, all our troubles will be solved.
On the other hand, if we have money, there is an interesting reality that we can become either dissatisfied, always wanting more, or constantly worried that we will lose what we already have. Contentment is a rare commodity for the wealthy. Not only can wealth be illusive, it can be fickle and hard to keep your hands on. Elsewhere in Proverbs we read, “Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit.In the blink of an eye wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle” (Proverbs 23:4-5 NLT). Here today, gone tomorrow. Most of us have seen the truth of that statement in our own lifetimes as we’ve our 401k accounts and investment portfolios dwindle right before our eyes. Retirement accounts that at one time were our hope for the future no longer provide the peace of mind we were counting on.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with money. Having wealth is not a sin. But when we make money our god, we will ALWAYS be let down. This proverb is dealing with the issue of trust. In the Hebrew, the word has to do with placing our confidence in someone or something. It is what we hope in and rely on. It is that thing that gives us comfort and provides us with motivation and security. The problem with placing that kind of requirement on wealth is that it can’t deliver. A beautiful home is great, but it can burn down just as easily as a shack. It can be broken into or destroyed just as easily as a home of far lesser value. We have seen images of beautiful homes destroyed by hurricanes and ravaged by tornadoes. Forest fires don’t seem to care how much a home costs before it turns it to ashes. Expensive cars wear out, break down, get stolen, lose their value, or end up junk yards. If we trust them to give us self-worth of value, they will let us down. Wealth will ALWAYS let us down.
But those who trust in God will flourish like leaves in spring. That is what it means to be godly. The godly are those who have learned to rely on and trust in God. Like a leaf on a tree, they are dependent on God to provide them with all they need to survive and thrive. Their job is to rest in Him and allow Him to produce His life in them. When we trust in money, we become like a dead leaf, ultimately falling to the ground, dried up and lifeless. The godly flourish, regardless of how much money they have, the kind of car they drive, the quality of the neighborhood they live in, or the schools their kids attend. Money and wealth are illusive and fickle. God is not. Trust in Him. Put your hope and confidence in Him. He alone is reliable, and worthy of any investment you make in order to know Him better.
Father, open my eyes and help me understand just how faithful You really are. Help me to know that money makes a lousy god. It will never deliver what it promises. It ALWAYS lets me down. But You never do. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men