Proverbs 21:17 – He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.
Who doesn’t want to be rich? Some may not want gobs of money to manage, but I believe all of us would like to be great in some way. Today’s quote from Proverbs can be applied in multiple ways, but basically we cannot expect to be rich by any definition if we are given to pleasure. Discipline is needed.
We often see those around us who have big houses and fancy cars or nice clothes, and we wonder, “How can they afford all those luxuries?” Later we sometimes realise that they went into debt to “pay” for these luxuries. Those debts eventually surface when they declare bankruptcy or default on their obligations.
In the United States, this lifestyle became so rampant in last decade as people purchased houses on greater and greater credit and ran up other debts as well until the economy tipped over in 2008. As Christians, we are taught to owe no man anything but love (Romans 13:8). This principle can be difficult to live in a society built on the use of credit, but it never works out badly while the same cannot be said of debt.
Pleasure is often at the heart of the problem. Even when we have money, we want to consume and not invest. We must remember the counsel and direction of Jesus to invest rather in treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-22). Heavenly treasures of love, righteousness, and joy in the Lord’s service cannot be overvalued. These things do not wear out or depreciate. Invest well.