Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 23:4
"Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, cease from your consideration of it"
This is a crucial truth – the central aim of your life should not be to acquire money or possessions. Wealth, if God allows it to come to you, should be the by-product of doing what you were made to do. As you work diligently at the things you were wired to do, then the money you need to live will come. When people dedicate themselves to the pursuit of wealth apart from or over and above their skills and gifts, then they can expect that they will never be satisfied and that fulfillment in life will remain elusive.
Do not weary yourself
This is a prohibition to stop going the extra mile for the attainment of monetary rewards. This is not a sufficient reason to wear oneself out. We should be working out of the gift, skill, and passion base that God has put within us. The money to live and satisfaction will come when we labor and strive out of this base and not out of a desire to heap up riches to our own gain.
This proverb suggests that there will come into most of our lives the chance to go after wealth. There will be some offer to make us wealthy, but we will have to become weary to obtain it. For some that is that they must travel every week, missing their family or not even being able to start one. For some the weariness comes in the form of twelve-to-fifteen hour days, six and seven days a week, where the job is the whole of one’s life. For others the weariness will come in their soul for they have had to trade a clear conscience for money. They have money, but they had to break a law or do something unethical to obtain it. For still others, the weariness comes from disease for they pursued wealth through abusing their bodies sexually, physically, chemically, or relationally.
Solomon is saying that there are shortcuts to wealth that will be offered but do not take them. Get rich slowly through hard work, diligence, and doing what you love. The shortcut is a dead end.
One of the things about wealth attainment is that it should be gradual and a part of what one is already doing. In our culture it has been called automatic building of wealth. Systematize the acquisition of wealth in an automatic way so that you do not even notice that you are building it. This would be by getting it saved without ever seeing it; setting up an automatic process that does not depend upon your discipline. You want to focus on the development of great relationships and hard work, not on whether your wealth is building. It should just do that automatically. Take between 10-20 percent of what you receive and set it aside automatically.