Things You Need More Than Money Prov. 16: 8 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Money is, obviously, important. If you don’t have any, it’s sure hard to pay your bills. But our attention to obtaining and maintaining wealth can surely obscure some other needs that are much more important than money. These are some things you need more than money:
Righteousness – Prov 16:8 – you need to be saved and, therefore, righteous more than you need to be rich. Consider the rich young ruler. Riches profit not in the day of wrath. What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Fear of God – Prov 15:16 – you need to fear God more than you need to be rich. The fear of God concerns the means by which you obtain your wealth and the decisions you make in the investment and spending of your wealth. A God-fearing person will not obtain wealth by illegal, vain, inappropriate or unacceptable means. A God-fearing person will not support godless endeavors with his money. A God-fearing person will not cheat to keep his wealth. A God-fearing person will tithe without questioning God. A God-fearing person will give generously because in the fear of the Lord is strong confidence [Prov 14:26] and the fear of the Lord is his treasure [Is 33:6]. I believe that widow woman feared God; she trusted him with everything she had [Lk 21:1-4]. In other words, a person who fears the Lord, fears nothing else, not even poverty.
Wisdom – Prov 8:10-11, 19 – there are many verses that compare wisdom to wealth. Wisdom is always more valuable than wealth. See Job 28:12-19; Prov 3:13-15; Prov 16:16. Wisdom comes directly from the Lord. But people who spend all their energy and time obtaining and investing their wealth, have no time for the Lord. Therefore, they miss out on gaining wisdom. They should pursue wisdom with more zeal and effort than they pursue their wealth. Jesus Christ did everything and does everything with wisdom rather that wealth. Like a friend of mine said, “If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look how much he gave his Son.”
God’s words – Ps 119:72, 127 – like wisdom, far too many people neglect the words of God in their pursuit of wealth. The words of God are of much more value than gold and silver. But people will accumulate way more money than they will the knowledge of God’s words. Jesus said, “Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed,” [Jn 6:27]. Read the context in verses 28 and 29. God can do a whole lot more with you when you have a working knowledge of the Bible than when you have a bank full of money.
Humility – Prov 16:18-19 – people with money are generally very proud. God said that it’s better to be humble with the lowly than proud with the rich. One fellow said of a rich man who knew how to buy friends and influence people with his wealth, “His personality’s in his wallet.” Today, that rich man is broke and all his friends who were attracted to his “personality” are gone.
Contentment – 1 Tim 6:6-10 – Godliness with contentment is great gain. Money can’t buy you what contentment can give you. Some of the most discontented, miserable people in the world are rich. Paul learned the great benefits of contentment [Phil 4:11-13]. The wealthiest person in the world is the person who has need of nothing.
Love – Prov 15:17 – money cannot buy love. The virtuous woman is not for sale [Prov 31:10-11]. You are better off with love and very little money than you are with a house full of treasures and hatred. Many years ago I lived with an uncle of mine. A very wealthy doctor lived behind him. One night when I came home, I heard gunshots coming from the direction of the doctor’s house. I didn’t know what to make of the sound. It was so out of place. The next week, the doctor’s wife shot him to death. Plenty of money; no love.
Conclusion: don’t put so much emphasis on your wealth that you leave these seven things undone. You can get by on a whole lot less money when you have these seven things. If you will spend the time to obtain these things, you will find much more value in them than you found in the money.