1 Better is the poor who walks in his integrity Than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool. 2Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge, And he sins who hastens with his feet. 3The foolishness of a man twists his way, And his heart frets against the Lord. 4 Wealth makes many friends, But the poor is separated from his friend. 5 A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who speaks lies will not escape. 6 Many entreat the favor of the nobility, And every man is a friend to one who gives gifts. 7 All the brothers of the poor hate him; How much more do his friends go far from him! He may pursue them with words, yet they abandon him. 8 He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; He who keeps understanding will find good. 9 A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who speaks lies shall perish. 10 Luxury is not fitting for a fool, Much less for a servant to rule over princes. 11 The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, And his glory is to overlook a transgression. 12 The king's wrath is like the roaring of a lion, But his favor is like dew on the grass. 13 A foolish son is the ruin of his father, And the contentions of a wife are a continual dripping. 14 Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers, But a prudent wife is from the Lord. 15 Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, And an idle person will suffer hunger. 16He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, But he who is careless of his ways will die. 17 He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, And He will pay back what he has given. 18 Chasten your son while there is hope, And do not set your heart on his destruction. 19 A man of great wrath will suffer punishment; For if you rescue him, you will have to do it again. 20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction, That you may be wise in your latter days. 21 There are many plans in a man's heart, Nevertheless the Lord's counsel--that will stand. 22 What is desired in a man is kindness, And a poor man is better than a liar. 23 The fear of the Lord leads to life, And he who has it will abide in satisfaction; He will not be visited with evil. 24 A lazy man buries his hand in the bowl, And will not so much as bring it to his mouth again. 25 Strike a scoffer, and the simple will become wary; Rebuke one who has understanding, and he will discern knowledge. 26 He who mistreats his father and chases away his mother Is a son who causes shame and brings reproach.27 Cease listening to instruction, my son, And you will stray from the words of knowledge. 28 A disreputable witness scorns justice, And the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity. 29 Judgments are prepared for scoffers, And beatings for the backs of fools.
(New King James Version)
4 Wealth makes many friends, But the poor is separated from his friend. 5 A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who speaks lies will not escape. 6 Many entreat the favor of the nobility, And every man is a friend to one who gives gifts. 7 All the brothers of the poor hate him; How much more do his friends go far from him! He may pursue them with words, yet they abandon him.
I don't now exactly where I stand in the matter of lower class, middle class and upper class. Well, actually I'm fairly certain that it isn't upper class. I know for sure that I was born into lower class. I was adopted out of pretty bad living conditions when I was 8 years old. My new family would not have been considered rich or probably even middle class. The fact is, my dad could have been rich. I know he possessed the ability to do well in life financially. However, he chose a life of ministry without desire for personal gain. I remember when I was young, how he would drive into downtown Houston and just ask a homeless person to jump in. He would take them home and disciple them, help them find work until they could stand on their own. He had been poor as a child and never thought himself any better than anyone. Like Jesus, he has been a friend to the poor.
I remember a movie in the early 90's with Mel Brooks about a rich man that takes a bet to be able to survive on the streets of L.A. for 30 days without using his status as a rich man. Where he used to be nearly worshiped by his subjects (4 Wealth makes many friends, But the poor is separated from his friend. 6 Many entreat the favor of the nobility, And every man is a friend to one who gives gifts.) now no one would so much as give him bread. To most people, money matters in how they see you. If you have it you have many "friends", if you don't your "friends" will leave you. We as disciples of Christ are different than this. We have an attitude of interest in a man's soul and not his pocket book.
Lord, where do I stand on this issue? As I survey my friends, have I selected those of equal or greater status than me? Would I be embarrassed to associate with the poor and proud to be known as a friend to the rich? Help me father to look at a man's soul and be to him what you would be to him.
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Call me weird, but I tend to avoid "rich" people as I just assume that they will think I have ulterior motives for befriending them. I'm nice to them but would not consider going to lunch, shopping, or such. My whole life has been a financial struggle; I'm the most comfortable I've ever been and that is changing. When I see what people/governments do with money, I covet the same for missions. Such a misplaced waste. So I need more compassion and willingness to change toward the "rich".ReplyDelete
I guess there is always room for us to grow. Whether it's attitude towards the rich or poor. Just so we learn to see people as He does. It is frustrating to watch so many suffer and see so much lustful spending. We just need to make sure we don't repeat what they're doing even if on a smaller scale.ReplyDelete