Fall or Flourish

This continues a series on Proverbs & Money.

Proverbs 11:28
Whoever trusts in his riches
will fall,
but the righteous
will flourish
like a green leaf.

Several thousand years running, but was there a more relevant truth ever told? Just last week, a 73 year old man throws himself in front of a 150-ton locomotive, leaving behind his wife and four kids, a result of what was apparently the inability to bear the thought of becoming a mere millionaire. Such was the fate of the former billionaire investor, Alfred Merckle. The native German reportedly took his own life in the midst of preserving the family dynasty from circling creditors.

Read the Proverb again. Pretty simple, huh? Fall or flourish? Intellectually, the choice seems pretty easy. But whether you fall or flourish hangs upon ‘what’, or better yet, ‘who’ we trust. And trust is more than intellectual assent to a proposition such as “Wealth Won’t Save Your Soul”1. Hank Williams knew that chorus by heart as does everyone else in Dixie. Trust is more than mere intellectual assent. Rather, it is demonstrated by the action we take in response to our affections. Paschal said that we’ll always pursue that which we believe will make us ultimately happy2. For one person, their affections drive them to jump in front of a train, spilling their bowels onto a railroad in southern Germany. For another, the object of their affections will drive them to singing and weeping with family and friends as their bowels are being devoured by cancer. Whether rich or poor, all of us will hear the whistle and feel the rumble of the “Long Black Train” as it’s movin’ down the line. The question is this: will we throw ourselves in front of it or flee to the mercies of God? To decide, evaluate your pleasures today and determine not now, nor ever, to settle for that which is merely temporary.

1) Title of gospel song written and recorded by Hank Williams.
2) "All men seek happiness. There are no exceptions. However different the means they may employ, they all strive towards this goal... The will never takes the least step except to that end. This is the motive of every act of every man...”

All posts in this "Proverbs and Money" series were submitted by a friend of Aaron's who wishes to remain anonymous.

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