The wise prayer of a weak and insecure man

Isn’t it safer to just be average?

Okay – here’s one of my responses that’s going to get me in hot water with some people.

Recently a podcast listener asked this question – a very common theme from our Christian listeners.

“Dan- Help. I have a poor man’s mindset and can’t seem to shake it. I’m stuck trying to understand Proverbs 30:7-9.  How can I change my mindset and start making more money?”  Eric

Let’s look at what Proverbs 30: 7-9 has to say:

7  Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die:

8  Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.

9  Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.

The writer is afraid he can’t maintain his integrity with any challenges to just being comfortable.  He’s afraid miser11he’ll fall into sin on either end of the spectrum.  He doesn’t say having a lot of money would bring opportunities to help others.  No, he suspects that he would forget about God and become prideful. And he doesn’t say that being poor would cause him to have to work hard every day and manage his money well.  No, he knows he would be tempted to steal from others.  He’s afraid of himself and knows he can’t be trusted.

If you think your integrity is that fragile – that any challenge would make you forget God, lie, cheat and steal, then by all means pray this prayer.  It’s the safest course for a weak person.

You might as well add to it:

  • Don’t give me any savings or a retirement account.
  • Please don’t let me that raise that being rumored at the company.
  • Just let me live paycheck to paycheck, never having quite enough to pay my bills.
  • Don’t make me poor because I can’t be trusted to even maintain my honesty.

Just take a look at this writer’s opening statement to see how self-deprecating he was. Is this the model of the person you want to be? (Incidentally, this is not Solomon writing, but Agur)

2 Surely I am more stupid than any man, And do not have the understanding of a man.

3  I neither learned wisdom Nor have knowledge of the Holy One.

He himself says he has not grown in wisdom, character and integrity.   Hopefully, you are not like this writer.  if you have matured in those qualities, then you will recognize the privilege of making a larger impact if you have resources that go beyond meeting your bare necessities.  What could you do if you had an income that was ten times your living needs?  Also, if you have an abundance of character, would you really be tempted to steal if you were poor?

Our character is not created by circumstances – it’s only revealed.  Being average doesn’t make this guy honest and Godly – it only keeps it hidden that he is not.

So what about you?  Could you be trusted with wealth – or poverty?

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