“There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.”
Riches are never earned overnight, but they are gathered over time and through careful financial guards. Many want to be financially secure throughout their life, but they don’t want to follow financial principles that bring the riches that help you to be financially secure. To say that one has great riches does not mean that they have a lot of money; rather, to have great riches means that your wants equal your needs. In this chapter of Proverbs, there are seven principles taught to help the believer to be able to become financially secure. Let me share these seven principles with you.
The first way to gain great riches is by paying your bills on time. Verse 2 talks about eating good by the “fruit of his mouth.” This is simply talking about paying your bills. When you acquire debt, you promised someone you would pay it. It will be hard to borrow money if you don’t pay your bills. Always remember that bills come before wants; therefore, you should never spend your money on things you want without first paying your bills.
The second way to gain great riches is by working instead of talking. Verse 3 warns the believer to keep his mouth. In other words, don’t be talking on the job when you should be working. Your boss isn’t paying you to talk; he is paying you to work. You will get more done on the job if you stop talking and get to work.
The third way to gain great riches is by working hard. Verse 4 talks the soul of the sluggard desiring but having nothing. You will never earn money by sitting at home. The best way to earn money is to go to work. Government entitlements have never made one person rich, but hard work has given plenty of people the money to enjoy life. Stop sitting at home waiting for others to do for you and go work for your money.
The fourth way to gain great riches is by doing right. Verse 6 teaches that righteousness “keepeth him that is upright in the way.” The righteous lifestyle is always cheaper than living a life of sin; plus, it allows you to sleep better at night and to live without regret. You are throwing your money away when you choose to live a life of unrighteousness.
The fifth way to gain great riches is by keeping your debts low. Verse 7 is teaching the believer that living like a poor person will help you to have more money at the end. There are many people who have great incomes who may have all the fancies of life, but they are poorer than the person who earns less money but lives a humble lifestyle without much debt. You can have more money than the high-income earners if you learn to keep little debt.
The sixth way to gain great riches is by setting up a budget. Verse 8 talks about the “ransom of a man’s life.” In other words, a person who lives by a budget always has more money than the frivolous spender. It is unlikely for you to gain riches without having a budget to guide your finances.
The seventh way to gain great riches is not to gamble. Verse 11 says, “Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished…” Let me caution you not to invest money into schemes that promise quick wealth. Gambling and get-rich-quick schemes have stolen much wealth from the poor who dreams of quick riches. You will gain financial stability if you work, save, and guard your finances from frivolous spending.