It is the Lord’s blessing that brings wealth, and no effort can substitute for it. Proverbs 10:22
I began working on this way back on July 4th, so naturally I reflected at first on how blessed America was. Despite all the things that can divide us as a nation, the good still outweighs the bad, binds us together and casts the beacon of hope, inspiring all other nations to join us, rely on us, test us and emulate our best parts.
But nations are comprised of individuals. And individuals have always been the intended recipients of this proverb.
In a way, we profess Proverbs 10:22 every time we pray the Lord’s Prayer.
“…Thy will be done…….Give us today our daily bread…”
However, this verse immediately begged a few questions in my mind: When I struggle financially, am I not blessed? Why work so hard if God is going to decide who ends up with the money? And what about all the crooks and backstabbers out there with material wealth and status? Are they “blessed” more than the rest?
I admit I was really challenged when I first came across this verse. If you read my last article, #36, then you know we addressed what’s needed for enduring prosperity.
But this one takes things another step farther. So I had to go farther in my study, to unearth this teaching. In addition to scripture, I consulted other sources like the Catechism and some web sites to help dig past my original resistance. I’m glad I did, because I unearthed some pretty interesting answers to my questions.
When I struggle financially, am I not blessed?
It is through our struggles that two beautiful things happen: we get better and we grow closer to God. I have never been poor, but I have been plenty broke. During those times I have turned to prayer for guidance, grounding and focus. I have always found all three. I also realized how blessed I truly was in other areas of my life.
Why work so hard if God is going to decide who ends up with the money?
As I was reading up on this topic I came across some commentary on the website Biblehub.com. Here was a quote that helped me start to grasp some understanding. “A man’s own work must not be regarded as an equal cause of prosperity with the favor of God.”
Hmm, when I read that I instantly remembered what God told Adam and Eve just before they were escorted out of Eden.
“Cursed be the ground because of you! In toil shall you eat its yield all the days of your life. Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to you as you eat of the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face shall you get bread to eat…” Genesis 3:17-19.
Bishop Robert Barron (one of my faves) also had an insightful response to that prideful part of us that asks: I work hard; can’t I just create my own blessings? His reply: “Who gave you your capacity for work?”
Still, we all like to be in control. We like to stand up and take credit for our good fortune. We never like to think of ourselves as powerless. The good news is that we are not – we always have our part, a role to play, in the grand scheme.
For example: It is not the amount of money that matters most; it is the actions we take with our incomes that impact our financial blessings. This proverb does not reside in a vacuum. It’s included an entire book of how-to’s regarding money. Regardless of the amounts of our corporate or personal revenues, our responsibilities to be good stewards with our money does not change.
What about crooks and backstabbers we encounter with material wealth and status – are they “blessed” more than the rest?
A popular protestant translation of this proverb is: “The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.”
Everyone wants wealth NOW. Some even go to extreme measures to obtain it, believing they deserve it more than their neighbors. Each of us can think of things we need it for, but are you ready for it?
Emotionally and spiritually speaking, it can wreck us if we’re not prepared. It can keep us from becoming the person we were intended to be. God knows what we’re truly ready for, even if we do not.
Also, consider the fact that as human beings, our definition of wealth may differ from God’s. Real wealth means more than money. And God’s sense of timing is based on an eternal perspective. We rarely see more than a week in advance.
Blessings are not just our talents and treasure. He gives freely to all and His blessings also include His word and His way. Use all the above to achieve the enduring wealth of life you seek – without sorrow, buyer remorse or eternal regret.
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