Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Proverbs 15:27 Let's make a distinction here . . .

Pro 15:27  He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.

What? Did that set you back on your heels for a minute?  "Hateth gifts"??

OK, let's make a distinction here . . . "hateth gifts" is NOT talking about rejecting all those nice presents that you received at Christmas-time!

In fact, the words here are very different, and have to do with bribery, and being greedy of gain --- so greedy that one is willing to do very dishonest things to get it!

Let's look at the meaning of some of the words. I think that "greedy of gain" is pretty self-explanatory; this person will become a slave to the desire to "get ahead" and will fret and scheme to accumulate more and more of the material things of this world. Always in pursuit mode, this person will cause vexation and quarrels even with his (or her) own family, and will resort to dishonest means of getting wealth.

The word in this verse that is translated "gifts" is sometimes used to mean a sacrificial offering (that's good) and other times to mean a bribe (that's bad). So a person who "hateth gifts" (bribes) is the opposite of the greedy person - this person will be willing to use his material blessings to do good. This is the person who will "live" --- not troubling his house, but enjoying the comfort of the necessary things, and possibly the blessings of additional wealth, the comfort of a happy family, and always the security of a close walk with God.

Now that we've made the distinction, and ferreted out the meaning of the verse, shall we make an application to all of our lives? Do we want to have more than enough? Why should we want to have more than enough? It is very easy to fall into the trap of always wanting more...for Christians, there is one very good reason to have more than just enough to live: when God grants us more than we need, He's giving us the opportunity to help others. It's a gift --- a chance to put His love into action through our stewardship of His blessings! That's not to say that we should give every penny away, after we pay our bills and make a trip to the grocery store. Wise stewardship means that we do put some away for the future, but if God lays it on our heart to help someone, we need to listen, and we need to cheerfully give.


I think this sums it up --- this is Paul, writing to Timothy:


1 Timothy 6:8 - 11 - But having food and clothing, we will be content with that. But those who are determined to be rich fall into a temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful lusts, such as drown men in ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some have been led astray from the faith in their greed, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, man of God, flee these things, and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.

Please, Lord, when I see someone who is truly in need, please open my hand --- open both of my hands, and I will give cheerfully in your name, and thank You that I can!

No comments: