Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

This continues a series on Proverbs & Money.

Proverbs 13:11

Wealth gained hastily (or by fraud) will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.. 

Is anyone currently audacious enough to question the wisdom found in Proverbs 13:11? Perhaps it is possible if you’ve been in a coma for the last two years. However, it would now be disingenuous to protest post-Madoff and sub-prime, CDO’s, mortgage fraud, excessive LBO’s, and cash-out refi’s. This generation’s life verse was summed up well by the 1989 Queen lyrics “I Want it All (and I Want it Now)”:
But just give me, huh, what I know is mine
People do you hear me, just gimme the sign
It ain't much I'm asking, if you want the truth
Here's to the future for the dreams of youth
More specific evidence of the haste doctrine comes from a couple of borrowers highlighted in a recent CNBC television documentary of the precursors to our current economic turmoil. One borrower facing foreclosure indicated that “with a salary of $900 a week he knowingly signed documents claiming he made four times as much….and bought a $584,000 San Clemente, CA townhouse”. My personal favorite though is from another borrower whose puny defense went like this: "We took a little money out to build our swimming pool, you know, 'cause I have three boys and I gotta keep 'em happy." Granted, overzealous lenders and investors were plenty eager to unreel the rope that is now wringing our neck.

The urge for instant gain is not new and it is not just money. Our culture longs for everything from instant coffee to instant sex. But why is it so dangerous, and worse, such an offense to our Maker? The answer is as deep as we could ever dig, but at least on the surface we should understand that taking shortcuts to wealth, glory, or honor undercuts our need for faith. Undercutting our faith means undercutting the very foundation for pleasing and thereby enjoying God (Hebrews 11:6). Faith says “I will trust God while waiting because I know He is a just father”, while Queen says “get out of my way God and give me what is mine now. I can handle this without you”.

This, however, doesn’t sound like Jesus. He resisted the temptation to turn stones into bread in exchange for a full belly, resisted the temptation to worship Satan in exchange for his kingdom, and resisted the temptation to bypass the cross in exchange for comfort and our damnation. But his waiting and short term self-denial were not ultimate. Ultimately, He has been exalted above every name in Heaven or earth so that one day all men will bow to his Lordship. Good things really do come to those who wait; for us it is chiefly a heart that has the capacity to enjoy something more lasting than an under-water mortgage (Isaiah 40:31). Struggling with you to wait for the revealing of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.

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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