Proverbs 13 for Work, Wealth and Business
April 23, 2007
Ideally, we would post these on the day pf the month that corresponds to the number of the chapter, but that is ideal and just isn't going to happen. Here are some of the verses from chapter 13. While it is not entirely possible le to separate out those pertaining to wealth and work, these deal most specifically with those issues.
2 - A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.
The difference between two business entrepreneurs may transcend mere technique and product and go to the character issue which drives business strategy. there are bullies in business who seek to win by intimidation. Then there are those who speak well and whose words are gracious and compelling. One group has an appetite for sweet words and the other for violence. Temporal success may come to the latter, but it is bitter and tasteless, and even disastrous as evidenced in the next verse:
3 - He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.
4 - The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.
It is not mere desire that achieves our goals. certainly desire is a component of motivation, but motivation ends in movement and with steady, diligent movement, there will be no long term results. Lazy people simple are not achievers.
7 - There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.
"Maketh himself'" can be translated, "presents oneself as" or "pretends to be." Sam Walton drove his truck between his stores. It was not out of pretence; it was who he was. He had no need to pretend. Some desire the status of wealth. Others want the real thing. Stop pretending and "putting on airs."
Humility is good business.
8 - The ransom of a man's life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.
There are good reasons and bad reasons for accumulating wealth. the less noble reasons revolve around status, self-indulgence, and lust for power. the noble reasons include the opportunity to be generous, to exert positive influence, to provide for one's family, and this: to be prepared for the dangers and contingencies of life. Some people who are poor are oblivious to threats and assume that there will always be a safety net below them. These are not necessarily those who are circumstantially poor, but those who suffer poverty of the soul and spirit - who possess no dream or motivation to be more than they are. when the time of crisis comes, they will be surprised while the rich will be prepared.
11 - Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.
There are many ways to get rich and dishonesty is one of them. Those riches, however, have a short shelf life and will whither away - especially in eternity. However, those who build their wealth honestly and conscientiously over time will continue to grow. Thus we read in the next verse that long-term goals lead to sweet fruition:
12 - Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
18 - Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.
Successful people are always learning, always seeking counsel, andare willing to accept correction. Pride leads to poverty and shame.
And again, the fruit of working for a goal is accentuated in the following verse:
19 - The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.
22 - A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
It is a good thing to build an estate. A good rule of thumb is that articulated by Warren Buffet - "enough to do something with, but not enough to do nothing." What we want to leave our grandchildren is an opportunity and an inheritance can often do that. As you build your wealth, consider the generations to come. Perhaps we should apply that as a society to our stewardship of the earth.
23 - Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.
25 - The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want.
There are two ways to squander a fortune: (1) bad judgment and (2) wickedness. we have all seen it and we must all reject these stumbling blocks. Real wealth is as much about how long as it is about how much.