Proverbs 19:4 Wealth brings many new friends, but a poor man is deserted by his friend.
Insight: The bible mentions money and wealth many times. In 1 Timothy 6:10 the Apostle Paul tells his readers that “... the love of money is the root of all evil…” In this verse, Paul, like many other authors in the Bible, warns against the effect money has on our lives. At some point, while we are growing up we begin to understand that there is a disparity in the world between the rich and the poor. While our thoughts about this might not be fully developed, we recognize that it is there. We are told that shiny, new things are better, and if someone has these they must be better. Like the verse above says, wealth attracts friends. However, we also see that when someone loses their wealth, their friends go with it. Wealth can be very shallow if not given up to the Lord.
The other side of the verse also reveals the shallowness of people. As a rich man attracts friends, a poor man is left alone, and deserted. That’s terrible right? When we take a closer look at this we realize how sad it is, but when giving it more thought- how often do we participate in this? When a homeless person walks by, the majority often ignore them. Some might give them food or money, but then they go on their way. Very few stay with them and provide them company. As a kind person, and especially if you are a follower of Christ, we are called to show His love to everyone. I understand that there are some concerns about this. Don’t go into a dark alley and try befriending the first person you see. But, if there is someone that looks lonely at work, or someone comes to your church for the first time, show the kindness that the Lord grants you with. Don’t judge them based on their outward appearance or their assumed income. Love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
Work Application: We must tackle the disparity between the rich and the poor in our communities, and even in our workplaces.Talk to the people that make less, or more money than you. As the verse says, wealth can bring many friends, yet our focus in the workplace must not be solely on wealth. It must be on honoring God. A poor man who has his heart on the Lord is far wealthier than a rich man who doesn’t. We all have dreams and aspirations. In From Illusion to Reality, co-author Robert T. Curtis gives advice to young professionals about continuing to move forward. In his “Ten Tips for a Successful Life” on pages 56-58, Curtis says that sometimes in careers you have to go down in order to go up. He mentions that instead of going after titles or money, go after impact to make a difference in the world. When we focus on working in this way, whether we are wealthy or poor, it doesn’t matter. What matters is our mission to lead with love in the work that we do.
Gratitude: I am grateful for God’s design of this world and his Church. We should not count the differences among us, but we should celebrate the fact that we are all saved by Jesus, and we can rejoice and share community through knowing Him.
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Contributor: Alexis Anderson is an intern as a brand development managing editor at TSE Worldwide Press. She is a senior at Biola University, studying English with an emphasis in writing, along with a minor in Biblical Studies. Alexis aims to inspire others through her words and character.