The book of Proverbs is a fountain of knowledge. You know you are going to learn something whenever you open to it, right? Many verses I have heard before, but one just seems to be put in there for me. Just today.
Proverbs 23: 4-5 says, “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” Can we all agree that these are the truest of true statements? As soon as you think you have it all figured out, poof! It vanishes.
First of all, why do we wear ourselves out to get rich? Why do we think it is the only measure of our worth? I know it is quantifiable, so maybe that is part of it. We think, “As soon as I have X amount of dollars, I will be better. People will like me.” No, they won’t if they didn’t already. And having X amount of dollars won’t make life easier.
I like the next part: do not trust your own cleverness. We do this all the time. “OK, I have it all figured out. With my super duper plan, I will have all I need.” No, we DON’T have it all figured out and never will. That is the point of life-it doesn’t fit neatly in a box. Life is messy and unpredictable and that is why we need a sovereign and merciful God. HE has it all figured out and we need to just go along with HIS plan.
Verse 5 says that when we even glance at riches, they fly away like an eagle. I love that visual! It is so true that counting on anything in this world, anything earthly, will vanish. They literally mean nothing in the long run. We have a hard time with that as money seems so fun. “If I have money, people will come to me. I will be needed and important.” No, we will be used and discarded once our money is gone.
The only thing that matters in this life is how we treat people. Money is nice, but only if we use it properly. When we use it to bless others, our lives are enriched. If we live life with an open hand, where money comes and goes, we will have the greatest reward: peace.
What I struggle with the most, especially right now, is planning. I trust my own cleverness. Oh, I throw in prayers for God to help me, but I don’t like to wait for His timing. Or I assume that since what I want is good, that it means God will grant it. Of course, I know that God needs to be at the center of all I do. I want Him there, but I want to call the shots and say when things happen. It is a constant power struggle.
So, day by day, I am slowly learning to let go. A few years ago our family began letting go of our finances, but I was still holding on to MY plans and what I wanted to do. I just need to let go of that and let things happen when God wants them to. He knows best!
What are learning to let go of when your instinct says to hold on tight?
Linking with Holley Gerth