Proverbs 14:23 In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.
As of late my perspective has been more of an economic one, as you’ll notice if you read the last couple days’ devotions. As a result, this verse really jumped out at me.
An individual is profited by labor in several ways, but the two important ones are financial gain and personal character. Wealth is created through hard work and entrepreneurship, while character is constructed through repetitively doing the right thing for the right reason. I once read a man say that if you will start by acting like the kind of person you want to be, eventually you will find that you have become that person. That takes labor, intense effort to achieve an end.
Proverbs 14:24 The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is folly.
This verse made me chuckle. Fools -> Foolishness -> Folly. Solomon must have been in a mood that day.
This truth dovetails with the previous verse, namely with respect to the definition of “riches.” Now personally, I’m a lower-income guy, I own a 6 year-old car with 84,000 miles on it, and the most up-to-date tech that I possess is an iPad mini (which is awesome, by the way). I’m definitely not a “wealthy” guy by carnal standards, as my bank statement would testify. However, “wealth” is itself a subjective term, as wealth is determined by the viewer.
For instance, I would consider myself a wealthy individual, not for the sake of financial wealth, obviously, but for the blessings that God has given me, and especially for the call that He has put on my life. I have my wonderful wife and children, a good job that I’ll be departing on good terms with, a ministry that spans an entire hemisphere, wonderful health thanks to my nutrition plan and to my exercise routine, a little of cross fit and yoga to help my balance and flexibility with the URBNFit Yoga Ball acquisition we did as I go with my wife so we spent time together as well. I have enough money to do what I need to do, and certainly not least, a church family that loves God and sacrifices to support the cause of Christ around the world. That’s more wealth than I could ever ask for, in my personal opinion.
Verse 24 seems to me to contrast those that recognize what it is that makes them rich, and the fools that only see dollar signs. If all you want is financial wealth, then you are a fool seeking after foolishness and folly. Solomon later described all his unimaginably vast wealth as folly. There are much better things to seek after than dollars.