This week’s Bible and Money focus is Proverbs 28:20:
“The trustworthy will get a rich reward. But the person who wants to get rich quick will only get into trouble.” – Proverbs 28:20 NLT
This verse, from the New Living Translation, makes an interesting juxtaposition between those who are called “trustworthy” and those who want to “get rich quick.”
The TNIV uses slightly different words:
“A faithful person will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.” – Proverbs 28:20 TNIV
The application here seems pretty straightforward: those who are faithful and trustworthy stewards of the resources God has given them will be richly rewarded, while those who chase after get rich quick schemes will inevitably fall into trouble and will suffer as a result.
The Problem with Getting Rich Quick
I don’t begrudge anyone who wants to accelerate their achievement and accumulation of wealth. In fact, I’m one of them. But here’s where we start to get into trouble, when we:
- Think we can earn wealth without really working for it.
- Think we are privy to secret investments or money-making ideas that no one else knows about.
- Become so blinded by the money that it becomes our goal, instead of what we can learn, and how we can grow, in the money making process.
What “get rich quick” people fail to realize is that the money itself really isn’t the ultimate reward for success. The process of earning the money is the reward.
True and lasting success isn’t about what you achieve, it’s who you become along the journey. That truly is the gift that keeps on giving.
In No More Dreaded Mondays, Dan Miller explains that when we accumulate wealth the old fashioned way (by earning it), we “learn the value of a hard-earned dollar, we learn how to duplicate the process, we learn how live full and enriched lives, and we learn how to enjoy sharing with others who have not yet had the same opportunities.”
Many who get rich quick seem to lose it pretty quickly too – due to lavish lifestyle choices, risky investments, and addictions. Not to mention the fact that many end up suffering from relationship issues and failed marriages because of the money.
Don’t think this is true? Just look at all the lottery winners, professional athletes, and stars who had their “lucky break” one day and lost everything the next. They missed important steps along the way that would help them – not just their money – grow.
But let’s suppose you do lose it all tomorrow. What next?
If you’ve learned how to build a business and build wealth successfully, you certainly can do it again because you know what it takes. And you can probably do it better and faster than before, because of all the things you know now that you didn’t know at the beginning. I think this is part of the reward that is mentioned in this verse.
How to Accelerate Wealth Building
If you want to accelerate the wealth building process in your life, I think the surest way is to identify exactly what you want (having clarity is vital), set goals, create a plan of action, and work toward those goals every day with focused intensity.
Focus is the key to success. The moment we start to lose sight of our goal, and why we’re doing what we’re doing, we start to get off track, make decisions that may keep us from our goal, and perhaps even fall into “get rich quick” thinking.
Focus is an issue I’ve struggled with at times in my life. I’ve jumped from money-making idea to money-making idea, hoping that this one or that one would be “it.” But they weren’t. Because I didn’t clarify what my true goals were, didn’t create a workable plan of action, and didn’t stay focused to work on it every day or week until successful.
Do you ever struggle with the get rich quick mentality? What has your experience been like?
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