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April 23 | Proverbs 13:6-14, 22


 

DAILY READING



 

REFLECTION


Lord Save the Savers

by Dan Kidd


We began this week with a parable about "a certain rich man" who'd been blessed with an abundant harvest, yielding him so much grain that he couldn't fit it all in the barns he owned, so he decided he'd tear those down and replace them with newer, bigger barns to store this overflow--reasoning that with all this grain saved up he could now retire to a life spent with his feet up, eating, drinking, and enjoying the spoils of life. Little did he know that that very evening the Lord would come to him, saying "You fool! This very night your life will be demanded of you." What, one might ask, does this have to do with the theme of being free? What exactly are we, as Christians, meant to do when it comes to saving our money?


In today's passage, we hear several proverbs on a variety of themes like righteousness, integrity, and the acquiring and saving wealth. And at first, I read these proverbs as a sequence of distinct thoughts--grouped together simply by conincidence. But the more I've read and reread this passage, and allowed it to shift and settle some, I'm convinced that these proverbs belong with each other, and that each of them augments the others. How are we to deal wisely with our wealth? It isn't enough to simply be patient, or shrewd. Those living in the wisdom of the Lord need also to be humble, and generous. Wisdom depends not only on honesty, but on integrity and a teachable spirit. Righteousness, honesty, humility, hope, patience, generosity, self-control, integrity--all of these harmonize with one another to form the melody of God's wisdom. And wherever we are weak or deficient in one of these things, we run the risk of foolishness and wickedness.


So, if we're looking for simple answers for how and how much we're supposed to save our wealth as Christians, we're destined for disapointment. Because living wisely is complex, and it asks a lot from us. Surely it's reasonable to have read Jesus' parable about the wealthy man building bigger barns with plans to retire to a life of eating and drinking in merriment and think, "yes, that sounds like an excellent plan for one's twilight years." Why wouldn't God agree with that? Because more is expected from us than shrewdly hoarding our wealth, or receiving God's generosity without multiplying it. Notice v. 22 in today's passage,


A good person leaves and inheritance for their children's children,

but a sinner's wealth is stored up for the righteous.


This man's shrewdness betrayed his generosity. The man in Jesus' parable built bigger barns to store up wealth for no one but himself, and that very night he forfeited every last bit of his earthly treasures to someone else. None of it came with him. This was foolishness. Lord, lead us not into this temptation; deliver us from this evil.


Over the course of the day, return back to these few parables. Allow these words to shift and settle for you, and as you meditate on them throughout the day, invite God's Spirit to lead you in the way of God's wisdom as it relates to our money and how we might save it, and what we might save it for. Because, the truth is, the only way we can hope to navigate the way of God's wisdom is by being led in that path by the Spirit.



PRAYER


Lord, we ask that as we meditate on your words to us today that you guide us in your wisdom by the power of the Holy Spirit. We pray that you would set our hearts to use our wealth and possessions virtuously, in ways that honor your generosity. Give us your mind to consider how we might save and for what we ought to save towards. Continue to train us to trust you, and Lord, set us free from the bondages of fear, impulsivity, selfishness, and all the other things that might tempt us to do what we needn't do and instead, to live firmly in your will and your way. Amen.








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1 commentaire


robin.lorms
23 avr.

Good morning, Dan.

As I read today's scriptures it seems to me the core theme is to live wisely. Tim Keller offered an excellent definition of wisdom. He states, " Wisdom is the wedding of knowledge and experience which combine to make us competent in dealing with the complex realities of life". It takes wisdom and righteousness of character to thread the "what do I do with my resources and how much is enough" question. I know I don't have an answer but if I bring the need for a decision, on a case be case basis, to the Holy Spirit then I know He will give me direction that allows for a peaceful decision.

Thank you, Dan for your…


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