Proverbs has much to say about wealth and the dangers of the love of money, but Christ can free our hearts to love him fully.
Questions for Small Groups:
To start your group, have everyone share something that God is doing in your life this past week.
A. Wealth and wisdom.
Remember: The word wisdom means skill- skill for life. Wisdom comes when we understand that there are no easy answers to life’s questions. Is wealth good or bad? Is poverty good or bad? Wisdom allows us to give a nuanced answer.
Proverbs 10:22. The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.
Proverbs 16:8. Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice.
Proverbs 13:23. The fallow ground of the poor would yield much food, but it is swept away through injustice.
1. How do these proverbs help us to have a balanced view of wealth and poverty?
B. The love of wealth and destruction.
Notice the progression:
The love of money makes you foolish- 12:11 Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.
The love of money makes you dishonest- 11:18. The wicked earns deceptive wages, but one who sows righteousness gets a sure reward.
The love of money makes you controlling- 11:26. The people curse him who holds back grain, but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it.
The love of money makes you violent- 28:25. A greedy man stirs up strife, but the one who trusts in the Lord will be enriched.
2. Have you seen this progression at work in someone you know? In yourself?
C. Wealth and your heart.
18:10-11. The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
11 A rich man's wealth is his strong city, and like a high wall in his imagination.
3. The rich man’s wealth is his city- his security, his significance, and his savior. Do you tend to make wealth your security (“I have money so I am safe”) or your significance (“I have money so I am important”)?
11:4. Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.
4. Your money can’t save you from trouble (especially on the final day of judgment). What does this verse say DOES save us? How does this point to Jesus Christ?
D. Wealth and the wisdom of Christ.
11:24. One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.
The scattering principle: The more we scatter the more we gather. The more we hold on to our wealth the less we have.
5. How is this principle true spiritually? How does it apply to our giving of our money? Our time?
6. How does the life, death, resurrection, ascension of Jesus prove the scattering principle? ie: How was Jesus scattered for us? (Remember: Jesus became a life giving spirit when he ascended- his spirit can now live in us.)
2 Corinthians 8:9. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7. The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
7. How does Paul motivate us to give? Does he use the law? How does he connect it to the life of Christ?
Proverbs 30:8-9. give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, 9 lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.
8. How can Christ free our hearts so that we desire this kind of balance? OR How can he give us this kind of contentment?