INTRODUCTIONSome of the most popular televangelists garner their popularity by falsely teaching that God wants everyone wealthy. God simply does not want everyone to have riches. Yet, if wealth is gained through scriptural means, it can be used to do much good (by supporting missionaries, helping those in need, furthering the gospel, etc.). The Bible clearly teaches that it is wrong for anyone to seek to become wealthy. Yet, one should equally not set out to be poor. As such, every believer should know how to avoid self-induced poverty. According to scripture, there are certain actions or inactions that ultimately lead to poverty: laziness (Proverbs 6:10-11; Proverbs 24:33-34), greediness (Proverbs 11:24), pleasure loving (Proverbs 21:17; Proverbs 23:21), and following vain persons (Proverbs 28:19). These truths hold constant on both an individual level as well as collectively.
- (For children): Children need to learn to work. Read Proverbs 6:6-8 to find out what insect we are to be like. This particular insect has food because she is not lazy and no one has to force her to work. Consider other passages which warn of laziness bringing poverty: Proverbs 19:15; Proverbs 20:4, 13; Proverbs 24:30-32.
- (For everyone): What is the financial condition of the country in which you live? Are your countrymen guilty of laziness, loving pleasures, or following vain persons? How has that affected the country’s wealth?
- Is it sinful to be poor? Yet, do some sins lead to poverty? How would you explain the distinction between your answers? Can righteous deeds ever cause poverty?
- Ask the Lord to guide you to the proper balance of wealth.
- Ask God to guard you from the sins that lead to poverty.