Neither Poverty Nor Riches
“…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.” Proverbs 30:8-9
Most wealthy people handle their wealth poorly, allowing it to warp their values and hurt their lives. Admitting this to be true, most people who are not wealthy nevertheless feel that they are an exception; they can handle wealth. The love of money finds its origin in our desire to avoid the pain of financial insecurity.
The phrase “he is financially independent” means that he is insulated from the gyrations of an uncertain economy. God does not want you “independent,” but rather dependent upon Him. People perceive money as the key to freedom, and thus their goal is in conflict with God’s goal for them. The servant of Christ understands this tension between his appetite and God’s will, and prays for the balance between poverty and riches. He knows in his depravity that he can err in either direction of greed and pride; in his greed he steals and in his pride he renounces his need of God. He asks and receives not “because he asks amiss that he may consume it upon his lusts.” (James 4:3)
Agur, the writer of this proverb, offers a prayer that is an accurate test of a man of God. He seeks for deliverance from both extremes, knowing that greed can easily overpower his conscience. He throws himself upon the mercy of God, asking that the Lord give him that portion in life that will most enable him to reflect His glory.
God may answer your prayer in this regard by making you rich or poor; many of His servants are in both camps. That is His prerogative. You must view His will as “good and perfect.” (Romans 12:2) Your financial station in life is one of the most important tests God places in your path.