Slavery – Proverbs 22:7

“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” (Pro 22:7)

I don’t think I would like to be a slave. Despite us thinking that it is an ancient trade, there are more slaves on the planet today than there have ever been. It is a tragic industry trading in human misery.

Yet here in Proverbs, a borrower is described as a slave to the lender. The power a master has over a slave has no end. It is a good reminder about God’s attitude toward debt. When we are in debt, we are literally owned by the person we are in debt to. Think twice and think again before entering into debt.

Give due heed to this Scripture when you look to enter into any debt contract. When we are in debt, we lose a piece of our freedom.

Quick Prayer: Teach me how to live with minimal debt. Amen.

Obedience

“However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you.” (Deuteronomy 15:4)

Hang on that can’t be right surely. If we have God’s blessing there will be no poverty. He will richly provide for all our needs and for those around us. It is God’s heart that there be no poverty. Let’s bear in mind the heart of God.

Here is an unpopular question for you; how much of what God has given us have we set aside to meet the needs of the poor. We are rich beyond all measure if we take a global view. Are we eating the bread He destined to provide for others?

Quick Prayer. “Help me to reach out in your way Lord.” Amen

Big Mouth !

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” (Proverbs 31:8)

If you are in a leadership position in business, God has given you influence. What will you use it for? To bless yourself and your family? Yes, that is fine. To bless others in your company or church? That is fine too. But what of those who have no voice in society, those who have no influence or resources—who will speak for them? How will their voice be heard and justice done?

Often we see life through our own worldview, blissfully unaware of others who are less fortunate than ourselves. It is our duty to look again and ask how we can help. You can make a difference.

Is God speaking to you today?

Quick Prayer. “Let me see the needs of others, and the courage to speak for them.” Amen

Pretense

“One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.” (Pro 13:7)

People are not necessarily who they seem to be. We assume so much by what people are wearing or what they are driving. Those at work who seem to have everything may be on the verge of bankruptcy. Some who look like they have nothing at all my be wealthy beyond all measure.

We need to look to the heart and disregard the outward appearance. We should judge people by their fruit, not their appearance. Someone my need to create a persona to be comfortable and keep his or her true self inside, deeply locked away.

When we know Jesus, we have to put away the entire pretense and be who we really are. It is okay to be vulnerable and be who God has made us to be. As we drop all pretense, we truly become all God has designed us to be.

Quick Prayer: Keep me from pretense. Amen.

Favoritism

“Who shows no partiality to princes and does not favor the rich over the poor, for they are all the work of his hands?” (Job 34:19)

We are the product of the society we live in. We cannot escape the worldview and attitudes we are raised with. Society’s norms are almost absorbed by osmosis. Many of the places we live are quite egalitarian, others are structured into classes and sects.

As believers we are called to one standard regardless of where we live, who we are, or what our society accepts as normal. We are to show no partiality or favor to those in high social positions over those who are deemed to be of lesser status.

We are all equal in the eyes of God, rich or poor, because we were all created by His hand.

Quick Prayer: We are all equal in Your eyes. Help me to remember that. Amen.

No Interest

“If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not treat it like a business deal; charge no interest.” (Exo 22:25)

When we have a position of authority and substance, it comes with a level of responsibility. When we are entering into a deal or project with one another, we have a duty of care to consider their circumstances.

This is no truer than when we are involved in the family of faith. That is not to say we should always do everything for believers at a discount or for free, but we should consider the impact on the other party and his or her ability to pay.

Sometimes it is not meant to be a purely commercial business deal; God may have something else in mind. He may be calling you to bless someone in the midst of your business dealings.

Quick Prayer: When You call me to help, let it be done well and in an appropriate way. Amen.

How Much Is too Much?

“Woe to you who add house to house and join field to field till no space is left and you live alone in the land.” (Isa 5:8)

Is there anything wrong with building a house? No, nor is there anything wrong with building many. The same is true of land and the acquisition of real estate. So why is there woe attached to this case?

There are two outcomes here: there is no space left, and the person building is left all alone. What is the lesson here? I think there are two. Our personal lives can be impacted when we build and work to acquire, at the expense of all else. When we have no balance, not only do we consume resources and leave nothing for others to use, but we also  burn the goodwill we need to maintain relationships. We end up with a lot of physical stuff but with no one to share it with.

Quick Prayer: Keep me aware of my impact on those around me, Lord. Amen.

Flee

“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” (1 Tim 6:11)

What are the things we should pursue in life? The world and our human nature say we should pursue significance, security, selfish ambition, pleasure, power, wealth, and fortune. That is quite an appealing combination and in essence not all bad.

But what would God have us to pursue? What would He have us chase after and hunt down with all our passion and focus? They are righteousness, godliness, faith, love, gentleness, and everyone’s favorite, endurance.

These are the fruit of the Holy Spirit. As we draw close to Him, we begin to reflect and produce this fruit. Consider how we can pursue these God-given goals; it is well worth dwelling on.

Quick Prayer: Help me pursue what is good. Amen.