The Bible tells us that wealth has power. It even shows us how to get wealth the right way. The ability to get wealth is not decided by God but rather by us! It shows us to go for something better than wealth, tell us to start young and a solid foundation. All these wisdoms are in Proverbs 22.Digesting Proverbs 22
Proverb is a book that is more like a list of PowerPoint bullet statements of wisdom. For ease of understanding, we did to re-organized them. In the midst of Proverb 22, v21 sticks out to say " Have I not written for you thirty sayings of counsel and knowledge, ". But it is v21, we only have 20 verses wisdom. If we go back to Proverb 21, it has 31 verses. It is not easy to find out where and what the 30 saysings are. But, the more important and useful things for us to do is to read the verses and get the wisdom there in.
The Outline of Proverbs 22
I reorganize the list of sayings and come out with logical flow as show in the mind-map below:
This Proverbs tells us much about wealth, its power and how to get it in the right and wrong ways. v2 tells us that the rich and the poor share one thing in common - that is they are all created by God. So I put this verse at the start to establish the key point that God is fair and there is no favouritism with God. God did not destine someone to be rich or poor. It is all up to us. Yes, people born into rich families have a better start than those who are born into poor family. But we know of the many stories of how the rich 2nd and 3rd generations spent away their wealth and become poor. On the otherhand, there are many rags to riches stories. We are what we do with the gifts and talents that God gives us. So pass the bug to blame God but take up the responsibility and accountability for our own.
God teaches us how to get wealth. It starts with getting wisdom. Wisdom begins with knowledge of God and to trust Him. Trusting Him means knowing His standards of right and wrong and being faithful in obeying his teaching. Obedience is the consequence of our trust in God. If we don't obey Him, it shows that we don't really believe in Him. We think we can out smart God.
So, we know something that is more foundamental and important than wealth. That is God's stasndard of right and wrong. We must not only know them but also to teach others. When people ask us is this right or wrong? We can give them the right answer.
Knowing right and wrong is best to start when we are young. So, we must train our children to know and to internalize the Godly values. We train them up by teaching and also by correcting. We watch our children behavior and when they do wrong, we must correct them by showing them their errors and also by reminding them of the right things to do. Just saying what is wrong without telling what is right is of no help. Don't assume children will know when we just say it once. Children learn more from our own behavior. Do we behave as what we preach to them? Some children is able to listen and some children need some punnishment. Deal with the children according to their personalities. One more thing, after the punnishment, remember to hug them and love them to clearly send out the signal that they are loved and only that particular behavior was bad.
The foundation for wealth is actually living rightly. Living rightly brings you honor and influence that exceeds what wealth can bring. A good name is more desirable than wealth. But wealth has it influence and can be of good use. Except, we must seek it in the right way. With the wrong way, by cheating and bullying, we just end up loosing our wealth and even our souls.
The chapter ends with a list of danger and what not do.
The mindmap for Proverbs 22:
Lim Liat (c) 23-1-2016