“Do not overwork to be rich; because of your own understanding, cease! Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven.” (Proverbs 23:4–5, NKJV)
Let’s face it…money is loved by many. It is one of the idols of this age. You don’t have to have much of it to worship it. It just has to take a larger place in your heart than God. But riches are uncertain. As Solomon says, they make themselves wings and fly away!
Probably everybody has experienced the feeling of not having enough money. What do we do about that? Do we become more frugal and live on a tighter budget? There is some wisdom in that. Do we work harder to make more or take on a second job? There can be wisdom in this also, provided that we don’t sacrifice the things that are important like faith and family. But it is also possible to overwork to become rich. We think that giving more time and more energy to our job will make us happier or at least less stressed over money. But that is not necessarily true. There are things that are more important than making money.
Jesus spoke of the deceitfulness of riches choking a person and preventing him from bearing spiritual fruit (Matthew 13:22). He also said plainly that we can’t serve God and money (Matthew 6:24).
Therefore, Solomon tells us to exercise some understanding. Does it make sense to fix your eyes on something that doesn’t really exist? Not only can riches fly away from a bad economy, theft or unforeseen expenses, but even if you manage to accumulate much of it in this life, you lose it all when you die. And if you have not been rich toward God, then what good will all your material wealth do you?
On the other hand, Jesus also said that if we will seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then we will be given everything else that we need. Certainly this includes our daily bread, but God also gives us many other things for our enjoyment (1 Timothy 6:17).
So be diligent in the work God has given you to do and learn the secret of contentment. Honor God with the firstfruits of your labor, and He will fill your barns and vats with plenty (Proverbs 3:9-10).