Proverb for the Day 23:4 – Stuff!

Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.

God advises us that we should not invest all our thinking, time and energy in getting rich. First, because all our efforts may just not produce much at all – that it was not a good investment of any of them. Second, we may be able to get riches, but not be able to keep it.

Third, wealth is not all it is cracked up to be and it may not provide us the things that really matter to us. Fourth, if God wants us to have it, we don’t need to wear ourselves out to try and make it happen. He can handle that all for us.

The second half of the verse, “have the wisdom to show restraint” is more of an explanation than a translation. Actually it consists of two words in Hebrew: “from-your-own-understanding cease.” It reminds me of one of my favorite verses in Proverbs (the second part of 3:5) – “and lean not on your own understanding.”

This verse tells us to curb both our actions and attitudes. We are not to succumb to focusing on wealth and going after it. In the end, wisdom is much better than riches, because wisdom brings sufficient riches along with it, helps us appreciate what we have, pass it around and share it with others.