O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die. First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the LORD?” And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name. Proverbs 30:7-9
These verses in the Book of Proverbs caught my attention. It sounds impossible for someone to pray for God to give him neither poverty nor riches, and just ask for enough! Would you pray for the same thing?
We often speak of blessings, we want to be rich, but the author of these proverbs, Agur, son of Jakeh, asked for just enough.
These verses helped me assess myself on what I really value and what motivates me to do things. Yes, I want to have a good life, a secured future. There might be times I tend to compare myself to some friends who are earning a lot, having their expensive cars and big houses. A thought played on my mind that time is “If I will not spend more of my time developing and helping people and just focus on what I want to achieve, earn more wealth, focus on my small businesses, I might be able to earn more than I have right now and buy luxurious things.” But that thought, I immediately brushed off because I believe that riches is not always an answer for having a better life.
The more we focus ourselves to accumulating wealth, the more dangerous it will become. I agree with Agur that if we grow rich, there is a tendency for us to deny God as we will rely on ourselves, thinking it is through our own ability that we are able to accumulate it.
Always remember, that it is the Lord who gives us the ability to produce wealth.
But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today. Deuteronomy 8:18
What is our motivation to be rich? Are we good stewards of whatever God has provided us? Do we always examine ourselves as we grow in our riches to know where our heart is already?
On the other hand, becoming too poor might lead us to stealing to satisfy our own needs. Remember, God is gracious, that even though we thought we are too poor, we will be able to overcome the day through God’s grace. It is God who will satisfy our needs. Don’t resolve to sin for the sake of sustaining ourselves, but to trust the Lord, act according to his virtues, persevere and experience his abounding grace in us.
I believe the author would like to tell us to be satisfied of the provisions God has given us. Satisfaction doesn’t mean we will not think of our future anymore, that we will not have a good plan for our family. Satisfaction is being joyful on whatever God is providing us, being a good steward of his provisions and the ability he has given us to bring glory and honor to his Name.