Dialogue, Wealth and Wisdom

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When it comes to writing or learning about money, it is better to think in terms of dialogue than absolutes. On the one hand, diligent efforts lead to wealth (the whole book of Proverbs), and on the other hand, diligent efforts can still lead to loss (most of Job). Unscrupulous, un-deserving reprobates acquire unfathomable wealth, while hard-working, God-fearing custodians scrub toilets and scrape by. 

The reason I use the word dialogue is because that is what Scripture does, and that with itself. The middle space of dialogue is where people who are searching for absolutes find themselves uncomfortable. The health-and-wealth preachers find plenty of fodder for their fire in the Scriptures, as do the poverty preachers. But, wisdom is found in the dialogue between two extremes. In one moment, wealth is a "rich man's strong city" (Prov. 10) and in the next, that wealth is shown to be a high wall only "in his imagination" (Prov. 18).

What we know for certain is that wealth is a useful servant, but a terrifying master, for its pursuit injures the soul (1 Tim. 6:9-10) and leaves a person wanting (Ecc. 5:10). But we already have a Lord, who will lead us, so we don't need these sort of absolutes when it comes to money, for stewardship is not about amounts, but awareness.