So, what is the proper balance in life between having enough money to live without fear of lack and not having enough to pay the bills? Or, is this even the right question to ask?
These verses from Proverbs gave me pause when I stumbled across them.
“Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.”
“Give me neither poverty nor riches…” is a cleansing concept to ponder. This sage’s desire is not for a lush monetary status quo that eases him into a lulled and dull state of comfort in matter. His desire is also to not be struggling with poverty, which can be just as dangerous causing one to act out fears of lack and feelings of deprivation.
Pursuit of answers to the question, “Who is the Lord?” seems to be his driving motivation, also, not taking “the name of my God in vain.”
If money becomes our god, thought, time and attention can be overly absorbed with monetary conquest. If vanity and empty promises absorb our attention, poverty comes knocking on the door.
So, the real question is not “How much money do I need to live?” It’s, “Do I know the Lord?”
When we understand God to the sum and source of all substance, the supplier of all supply, and the provider of all provision, a natural balance of enough money settles into the human experience. There is not too much or too little. It’s not a matter of material quantity anymore, but of spiritual quality.
A balanced human status quo reflects an inner spiritual balance that comes from knowing God to be the source of all good. The conquest of this understanding does not end in vain or leave affairs in shambles. It brings stability, security, certainty, wisdom and dominion that leave one in a position where he or she can actively pursue increased spiritual understanding and its demonstration without fear of human or material lack in the meantime.