How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.
For me it is difficult to hide it and so I dare to publicly confess it: I like the dolce far niente (‘sweet doing nothing’,) ie inactivity. But that does not mean I spend a lifetime doing nothing. In fact, thank God I have much work to do and to this activity I dedicate at least 40 hours per week. This, above all, to maintain balance between family and work, in addition to other activities which, according to the usually accurate view of my beautiful better half, I dedicate too much time. One knows when we are allowing the flesh to guide our steps and our agenda, so we must never ignore the warnings of God’s Holy Spirit who dwells within us alerting us to get back to work. We better listen to Him because He is our Counselor, in fact, he is the best counsel that can be found in the universe and beyond, if it were possible to live outside the universe. We also need to be clear that we can not spend the whole time as if we were in frantic activity very similar to the washing machine spin cycle. God created both work and rest and to maintain a balance between these two categories of activity is a demonstration that we have received God’s wisdom, that one that comes from above.
It is likely that in most activities you will find yourself at either end of the spectrum, whether you work hard or do nothing at all because you are “resting.” Towards which of the two extremes you lean? Neither extreme is good. The optimum level is to keep a stable balance between these two positions so we can live in an integral way. Seek, therefore, the center of balance and let’s keep it as long as possible. You will have a better quality of life and your family will thank you for it. Only to God be the glory!
One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.
We live in a world dominated by the keeping up of appearances. Everything is done under the concealment of a mask. Fierce wolves disguise as tender and humble sheep to hide their true intentions. The rich spend their lives complaining that they do not have enough money when in fact they spend huge sums of money to satisfy their carnal desires. Drug traffickers carry out social action works to put the ignorant people on their side so that they facilitate the execution of illegal activities. The corrupt behave as if butter would not melt in their mouths. Politicians, experts in the art of mimicry, camouflage their personal interests for power, fame and wealth under a blanket of sacrifice in defense of popular interests. Pedophiles and perverts move freely in society without being detected because they wear honorable faces full of falsehood. But none of this should be surprising to us since the word of God reveals that the world is under the temporary control of the evil one, who as the father of lies has covered with tinsel all the misery and destruction that are part of his diabolical plan. The enemy’s strategy is successful because most people are naive and cannot tell good from evil and on the few occasions that they can clearly differentiate between good and evil they choose the latter, obeying the impulses of their sinful nature.
It is very easy to get carried away by attractive but adulterated appearances. With little effort, but at high risk it is possible to construct a facade of wealth and prosperity which has no firm foundation since it is based on money that we cannot be sure that we will have in the future as we are not masters of our lives and our destiny. The reality is that we are under the control of unscrupulous lenders who finance our excesses far beyond our real financial capabilities. God does not judge by appearances. God knows very well what is in the heart of man and therefore he cannot be deceived. Make sure, then, that our exterior accurately reflects what we have in our heart so we do not fall into the vice of presumption. Who has Christ, has everything and lacks nothing. To God alone be the glory!
Listen, my son, and be wise,
and set your heart on the right path:
Do not join those who drink too much wine
or gorge themselves on meat,
for drunkards and gluttons become poor,
and drowsiness clothes them in rags.
Without falling into judgments or resorting to much detail we can conclude that most people who roam the streets for lack of housing, also known as homeless, are in this sad and painful situation because of chronic and excessive use of alcohol and drugs, which led them to end up being slaves to a terrible addiction. Addiction to alcohol and drugs is a serious problem that affects society in every area and social stratum. Dependence or addiction to these substances cause problems at the personal, family and society level. Its consequences, as noted above, are devastating and have led many to fall in extreme poverty. Apart from restricting the free availability, conducting educational campaigns, restricting the dissemination of commercial messages, reducing the hours where sales are allowed and setting age limit to sales, it is very little that governments can do to control this disease. The problem goes beyond legislation, the problem lies with the individual as part of the sinful nature that all humans possess. Man’s lack of discipline and control is what makes his defenses against this scourge ineffective to protect him from the terrible consequences that result from consumption and uncontrolled exposure to these substances.
The improvement of the individual is not achieved by modifying his environment but by transforming his inner being. This can be achieved only by the Holy Spirit of God. The word of God warns us that excessive consumption of alcohol leads to debauchery. The Word of God exhorts us not to let ourselves be controlled by our sinful nature but by the Holy Spirit of God. All time dedicated to fulfilling the extravagant desires of the sinful nature is wasted time. Let us not lose time and be wise and attentive to the word of God. This will keep us on the right path.Only God has the answer to the problem of substance dependency . To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Proverbs
Tagged Christianity, drowsiness, drunkards, gluttons, God, heart, hope, life, path, poverty, Proverbs 23, rags, righteousness, strenght, wine, wisdom
»Two things I ask of you, LORD;
do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.
Little has been written about the identity of the oracle called Agur, son of Jakeh. As far as I’m concerned, it is King Solomon himself under a pseudonym, communicating more of the wisdom that God gave him. In any case, the important thing is that this portion is also part of the word of God and as such is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” I draw much attention to the analogy or parallelism used here between the falsehood and lies and the two ends of a financial situation. As in all things, the extremes have always been inconvenient, dangerous and bad counselors. Not only financially but in everything we should strive for equilibrium or balance, mainly because balance seeks to harness and combine the best of the two ends to find a “win-win” solution, whereas in extremism one end strengthens its position at the expense of the other end and there is always someone who wins and someone who loses.
The consequences of finding ourselves on either end are catastrophic. Extreme poverty creates the risk of us putting aside our faith in God and becoming wrongdoers because of despair. At the other end, wealth increases the chances that we ignore God and put our hope in riches, something that we have been warned against. As we can see, both sides threaten and undermine our relationship with God, which is unacceptable. Let us always seek to carry out the will of God and not ours. In the case of personal finances, the balance is that we have only our daily bread and not wealth or poverty. Is not this what our Lord Jesus taught us when He gave us the model prayer par excellence, the Lord’s Prayer? Only to God be the glory!
Posted in Proverbs
Tagged Christianity, dishonor, faith, falsehood, God, hope, Jesus, lies, LORD, love, poverty, riches, spirituality, wisdom
Those who work their land will have abundant food,
but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.
Man, who was created in God’s image, has one or more genes in his chromosomes that equip him with creativity or the ability to create. Human creations typically begin with the generation of an idea that, if physically feasible, can be transformed into work or action. It is in the process of generating ideas where we find the open door of the imagination. Some of the ideas taken from the fantasy world have been converted into concrete objects or actions but most of them just remain as they are, that is, mere fantasies. There are many people who like to visit this world of fiction, but not to take ideas and turn them into works but to seek an escape from reality. Their life is to imagine entelechy after entelechy and frolic among them but their ideas never come to fruition. They spend a lifetime dreaming of the “may be” and therefore fail to give due attention to the “is” and the “ought to be.” We can afford to spend a reasonable length of time daydreaming about opportunities and desires, but if we dedicate too much time to this world of illusion, most likely we will end up losing touch with reality.
Human beings were created to be engaged in productive activities that generate satisfaction. Those who think that work is a curse or a devious way of punishment are completely wrong. The truth is that whoever does not work will see that his situation degenerates day by day and every day that passes he becomes a poorer person, both physically and spiritually. Let us manage with much wisdom and seriousness the time we dedicate to solace in this world of fantasy and dreams. Let us give thanks to God because we have been given the gift of imagination and creativity that allows us to participate, as beings created in God’s image, in the creative process and also because we are blessed with a job or an activity that keeps us busy, productive, satisfied and grateful to God. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Proverbs
Tagged abundance, Christianity, faith, fantasy, food, God, Jesus, land, love, poverty, Proverbs 28, spirituality, wealth, wisdom, work