24 Wealth is a crown for the wise; the effort of fools yields only foolishness.
Proverbs 14:24 (NLT)
The above verse is about wisdom. What is the popular view on wise men? When it comes to wise men, I used to have an impression on men who lived in semi poverty in monasteries or caves. Somehow poverty and wisdom always come together at least according to Hollywood. So, if you want to be wise you must be prepared to be poor. If you want to be rich, then forget about being wise. According to popular culture, prosperity and wisdom seem to be mutually exclusive.
Thank God, the above verse says otherwise. The first part of the verse says wealth is a crown for the wise. This means wise people are always rich. This may be contrary to the teachings of Hollywood and theology but it is still the truth. The above verse gives us a clear truth that wisdom and wealth always come together. If you have wisdom, you will have wealth. You will live in a luxurious palace, not caves nor monastery.
In case some one may ask what is wealth, the answer is riches in every area of life, including having a lot of money. Unlike the theologians, God is not ashamed in wanting us, his people to be rich in every area of our lives and he has given us wisdom as a tool to acquire them. This is also why I am not ashamed of being completely honest in declaring that my desire is to have a lot of money coming into my life. Since God himself is not ashamed of what he wants, why should I?
Having said all these, I have a disclaimer here. While it is true that wise people are destined to be rich, it does not mean that they do not have setbacks in their lives. During those setbacks, they may not look rich. Christians can begin their spiritual journey in poverty or get into poverty as a setback but they will eventually get out of it through their faith in God, in particular through the application of God’s wisdom.
So, do not despise people when they are poor. Many godly men like Kenneth Copeland, Jerry Savelle and John Osteen were poor when they started their ministries but they ended up rich because they have acquired the wisdom of God.
We should be encouraged by their testimonies. This is why I like the preaching of real preachers like Kenneth Copeland and Jerry Savelle. They are not just preaching from some textbooks, they are telling the stories of their lives. These men have lived the lives of faith themselves. Their teachings are proven in their lives. If their teachings can work for them, it must be able to work for us as well. This is also why we should rejoice when church leaders get rich as long as their riches are obtained legally. They are setting examples for us to follow.
Do not be like the carnal minded people who got jealous when they see Christian leaders get rich as though it is some sort of crime. All Christians regardless of their leadership position are called to be wealthy and being wealthy includes having a lot of money. So, do not be ashamed in admitting that as a Christian, you have the desire to get rich.
The second part of the verse tells us that the effort of fools yields only foolishness. The term “fools” here refers to those who has the opposite of wisdom. The fools can make a lot of effort but they will not get any permanent results. It must be referring to the theologians. So, don’t be a fool.
Be wise and be rich.