Recently unemployed, I have had anxious thoughts and prayers about whether to pursue work or not. (It’s incredible the social pressure there is to get a job.)
And why should I not work? My kids are grown, and I could easily go get a job as a substitute teacher this very day.
But I was listening to a Francis Chan sermon this morning, and he shared a verse that seems so contrary to what most urge me to do that I almost feel embarrassed to meditate on it.
“Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.” (Proverbs 30:7-8 NIV).
As Francis Chan says, this wise man is begging God to make sure he lives paycheck to paycheck until he dies.
So if Matt and I have enough to live on that we’re not desperate to steal to survive, but we don’t have so much that we aren’t praying God will provide for next month’s needs, are we in the perfect financial situation?
According to the wisdom literature of the Bible, would I be foolish to get a job that would move us into a place where we have no need to ask for our daily bread? This is strange thinking, a radically un-American mindset toward money. (Begging God to please, please not give us more money than we have right now? That feels awkward, to say the least.)
But maybe our current financial situation, by God’s kingdom standards, is most enviable in all the world.
Not to say that getting a job or being wise regarding future savings is bad (Proverbs certainly encourages work ethic and planning ahead), but neither can I throw out this prayer from Proverbs 30.
On Sunday night, my preacher husband said sometimes the word of truth makes us angry (see James 1:18-20) –when God pokes us in a sensitive area and tells us to obey an uncomfortable precept. I had NO IDEA I would get that squirmy, I-don’t-like-this feeling less than 24 hours after that sermon.
Proverbs 30:7-8 is going on a notecard and traveling around with me this week. It will take some work to humble myself before this line of thinking about money. I’m so used to always wanting more more more more more more more. To pray only feels like a foreign language.
How does this financial thought from Proverbs land with you?