May is graduation month, so we’re focusing our Good Word Fridays on advice for new grads. Today’s verse talks about material wealth. Money is a huge thing for young people just starting out.
If you take the verse to the extreme, it’s saying that it’s better to be righteous and poor rather than wicked and rich.
It’s not saying that it’s good to be poor and bad to be rich — that’s a misread. It’s saying that the state of our soul is far more important than the state of our bank account. It’s saying that no amount of money is worth engaging in wickedness or offending God.
This sounds pretty basic in theory, but in practice, it can be more confusing.
There are a lot of temptations out there for young people. For example, youngsters will come across plenty of ways to make a dishonest buck as they search for jobs. They may decide not to pay taxes on a cash-only side gig. Some bosses pressure new employees to do “dirty” work. Here’s one more: “I’m going to keep my whole paycheck for now, and I’ll tithe when I’m making more money.”
This proverb helps keep things in perspective. It’s better to have a little bit that’s clean rather than a lot that’s dirty. Pass this on to a young person who is graduating this year.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.