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  • Dr. Stieglitz

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 22:7

Proverbs 22:7

"The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender's slave"

There are facts of life that we can wish were not so but are true. The truths in this proverb are true and no matter how much you wish this were not true, they still are. It is these kinds of truths and insights that Proverbs is trying to imbed deep in your thinking so that you can succeed in the world that is instead of wishing the world were different.

This verse deals with two kinds of being under authority or being ruled: the first comes from being poor; the second and far more grating comes from borrowing.

The word rich is the Hebrew word oser, which means wealth, abundance, treasure. One of the perspectives in the Old Testament is that wealth is a blessing when handled correctly. Wealth is abundance past basic needs. Riches means that a person has enough to meet basic needs with some left over. Most in the west would fall into this biblical category.

It is what one does with that "some left over" that determines whether one has blessings to their benefit or to their trouble. Abundance or provision over one's basic needs is provided by the Lord for sharing with an ever widening circle of relationships.

First, you seek to have enough to meet your own needs. You could stop at that point and spend any excess solely to please yourself. This, however, would not be wise even though some these days do this. After you have abundance past your own personal needs, then you give and share with your immediate family; in this way providing for a spouse and a number of children. They did not earn the money, but your hard work and abundance provides for them. If you refuse to share with them and spend it on yourself or other relationships of lesser priority, you violate the law of love and the laws of abundance.

If you have abundance that stretches beyond the needs of yourself and your family, then you would be expected to consider sharing some portion of your abundance with your church and or a charity. Remember this is an offering; your tithe has already been given to God. Here I am referring to an offering to the Lord to help meet a need in the church or a charity. Notice that the abundance keeps reaching out to meet the needs of others as your generosity of love flows forward. After that, love will look to society or community projects that are needs – maybe libraries, schools, etc. Finally, your friends who are in need could receive some share or portion of your generosity.

When God gives a person the ability to create abundance – that which goes beyond the meeting of their own personal needs – then He is doing it for you to love others and that love should flow in a priority order. If at some point a person hoards the abundance that God has allowed them to amass and refuses to share their abundance with others in the priority of love, then their riches begin to be heaped up to their own hurt.

God gives the ability to amass abundance. He does not want you to necessarily give it all away. God is not against abundance. In fact, He is for it. He gave you the ability to gain it. He wants you to be generously abundant along a priority order. Many in the United States have great abundance compared with the rest of the world. In fact, we have such great abundance that we can share with each of the relationships in priority order and love them for Christ's sake. It is a shame when we waste riches that God has given us on ourselves and do not use them to love others.

If God has given you abundance, share with those whom God has called you to love – in priority order. Do not give them so much that it spoils them but be ready to share. (1 Timothy 6:17)

Until tomorrow,

Gil Stieglitz

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