Tag Archives: money

Fast Money is Foolish Musing

There are many false prophets out there.  You known them, I know them, and many of them know they are themselves.  Often they are asking for seed money.  If you send them $1,000 (even if you don’t have it; just put it on your credit card), then God will grow that seed and you’ll be rich.  Others will just get you think positively and you’ll get rich.  Most claim that God wants you to be healthy, wealthy, and wise.  Thousands of people are duped into thinking this nonsense.

John D. Rockefeller was asked how much money would be enough.  His response is memorable: “Just a little bit more.”  There are not many people who would turn down just a little bit more money.  But there are many people who are not simply looking for an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work.  They are looking to make some fast money.  They want fast money.  So they play the lottery, make risky investments, day-trade, get involved in pyramid and Ponzy schemes, etc.  How foolish is this?  Fast money really is foolish musings.

Solomon was warning his son about getting involved with people who are looking to make a fast buck.  In the case he was writing about, it was people who were willing to ambush and kill someone.  But he makes it clear, as we’ll see in a moment, that it’s anyone who wants to make some fast money.  he wrote,

“For in vain is a net spread in the sight of any bird,
but these men lie in wait for their own blood;
they set an ambush for their own lives,” (Proverbs 1:18, ESV; italics mine).

In their efforts to get rich off of someone else, these men are not actually setting a trap for the unsuspecting person along the road, but ironically they are setting their own trap.  Paul wrote,

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.  It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs, (1 Timothy 6:9-10, ESV; italics mine).

The desire to be rich is self-destructive.  You set a trap for yourself; you pierce yourself with pangs; you fall into temptations and do that which you would not dare to do.  Solomon wrote,

“Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain;
it takes away the life of its possessors,” (Proverbs 1:19, ESV; italics mine)

How foolish is it to be greedy?  What you think you possess actually ends up possessing you.  The trap you set for others, you end up in yourself.  So let us be content with receiving the hard day’s wage from a hard day’s work.  That’s the wise way to live.

Look Poor; Live Rich. Look Rich; Live Poor

Dave Ramsey is famous for saying, “If you live like no one else, later you can live (and give) like no one else.”  Thomas J. Stanley, author of The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy, wrote an entire book that details how to become rich.  The surprising thing is, people who are the wealthiest tend to live as though they had little.  Those who tend to be wealthy are generally so because they do not spend their money frivolously.  There are some who do, but often those are more of your athletes and movie stars.  The “real” rich do not go out and buy mansions, lots of expensive cars, and $2,000 suits.  They understand how hard a buck is to earn, and so they are careful how they spend it.

Solomon wrote, “One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth,” (Proverbs 13:7, ESV).  Many people today are trying so hard to keep up with the Joneses that they have not realized that they actually become the Joneses.  One neighbor (or friend) gets a car and so the other needs to get a car, but a little better, which means that the original car-buyer has to one-up the other guy.  Or perhaps one neighbor buys a new lawn mower, which makes the next door guy feel like his is out of date, and so he goes and buys a new mower, but the guy next door to him (two doors down from the original guy) sees both his neighbors having new mowers and so now has to get in on the action.  The problem is that none of them can actually afford (as in cash on hand) to get one, and they all finance their mowers.  Everyone is pretending to be rich, but really have nothing–no wealth.  Meanwhile, down the street the millionaire, that no one suspects as being one, is mowing his grass (himself) with a mower he has to constantly work on to keep it running.  The other three laugh at his rundown rickety old thing, but as he pretends to be poor, in reality, he has great wealth.

So what should we do?  Live like no one else, so that later we can live (and give) like no one else, pretend to be poor so that we can gain wealth.  Money is not the only thing in life; not even close.  However, God has made us stewards of His resources so that we can live and give according to His will.