As you probably recall from your Sunday school lessons, King Solomon was a very wealthy man, having earned God’s favor to such an extent that his wealth accumulated dramatically. Though he spent a good amount of time being a good steward of the wealth the Lord had seen fit to bless him with, he also devoted himself to recording a set of teachings, in short form, that can be found in the Bible in the Book of Proverbs.
While the lessons from Proverbs are incredibly broad in scope and cover almost every facet of human life and our relationship with God, a good number are devoted to teaching wisdom about money. We call these the money proverbs, and it wouldn’t hurt to browse through them now and then. Since they are scattered throughout the book, we’ve pulled a selection of our favorites and offer them here in one spot for your convenience.
Are you taking good care of your – err – God’s money?
Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth. (NIV)
The wealth of the rich is their fortified city, but poverty is the ruin of the poor. (NIV)
The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it. (NIV)
Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. (NIV)
A kindhearted woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth. (NIV)
Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf. (NIV)
A man’s riches may ransom his life, but a poor man hears no threat. (NIV)
He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored. (NIV)
A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous. (NIV)
A poor man’s field may produce abundant food, but injustice sweeps it away. (NIV)
The righteous eat to their hearts’ content, but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry. (NIV)
The poor are shunned even by their neighbors, but the rich have many friends. (NIV)
All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. (NIV)
He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. (NIV)
Better a little with the fear of the LORD than great wealth with turmoil. (NIV)
A poor man pleads for mercy, but a rich man answers harshly. (NIV)
Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse. (NIV)
Wealth brings many friends, but a poor man’s friend deserts him. (NIV)
He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done. (NIV)
Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare. (NIV)
The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. (NIV)
He who loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves wine and oil will never be rich. (NIV)
A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. (NIV)
Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all. (NIV)
Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honor and life. (NIV)
The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. (NIV)
A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor. (NIV)
He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich–both come to poverty. (NIV)
22 Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, 23 for the LORD will take up their case and will plunder those under them. (NIV)
If you take the time to live your life by the principles just described in King Solomon’s timeless writings, you’ll be well on the way to understanding the biblical approach to personal finance. Too many times these simple ideas are not given their due respect. It seems so simple. Too simple. Life is more complicated than just following God’s word, right? Umm, no, actually it isn’t. Or, at least it shouldn’t be.
Try reading these proverbs – really reading them again – and this time make it mean something.
The Solomon Success Team
Flickr / Walt Stoneburner