Give Me Not

Dear Jack,

The following passage was brought up in our monthly Bible study by a quite wealthy local businessman, who was struggling with its implications.

Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die:
Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
Give me neither poverty nor riches;
Feed me with the food that is needful for me,
Lest I be full and deny you and say “Who is the Lord?”
Or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.

This is Proverbs 31.7-9, written by Agur (not Solomon).  Basically he is asking the Lord not to give him too much, but not to give him too little.  A novel thought – but when I started to dwell on this, it because alarming.  What number is that?  Or more accurately, what heart condition is that?  Contentment, to be sure – but is it even possible to measure a true “enough” amount for a household?

As a profession, I attempt to construct conversations that allow me to quantify the amount a family needs (to live on in retirement, to give away, to pay for college, etc.), and then we can somewhat gauge what amount on top of that is “enough.”

This passage throws cold water on the pursuit of riches as well as the lazy complacency of some people in this nation.  And, most refreshingly, it’s a reminder that no matter what amount we have, it’s from God.  Till next time, Jack.



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