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“Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owners except to feast their eyes on them? The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether they eat little or much, but as for the rich, their abundance permits them no sleep. I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owners, or wealth lost through some misfortune, so that when they have children there is nothing left for them to inherit. Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb, and as everyone comes, so they depart. They take nothing from their toil that they can carry in their hands.”
1. Evaluate your financial love life.
“Whoever loves money never has enough; Whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless”. (v. 10)
- Those who LOVE money and/or wealth are not content! They are striving for more, and then after they obtain that goal of more money, they set a new goal and continue this dog-chasing-it’s-tail routine.
- What does King Solomon state is the end result of this love of money? He states that “this is vanity” (i.e. fruitless, unsubstantial, worthless, unprofitable).
- The driven pursuit and acquisition of money is a vapor, fruitless, worthless and unprofitable in the end! (Mark 4:9, 1 Timothy 6:10, Hebrews 13:5…)
- Stewardship Takeaway – Are you satisfied with your income? If not, be watchful, for what Solomon states is that at this point one could shift from loving the Lord to loving money!
2. Greater Wealth Brings Greater Responsibility.
“As goods increase, so do those who consume them…” (v. 11a)
- Some people are able to handle added responsibility and stress, and sadly many are not. This tip from Solomon is a good financial and business tip for those considering to increase their goods, wealth, profits, or their business. “As goods increase, so do those who consume them”.
- Stewardship Takeaway #1 – Speaking to those that are listening that are business owners…Don’t forget to count the cost. Make sure that you can provide for the needs of your employees as you increase the size of your business or increase your production or ministry.
- Stewardship Takeaway #2 – Consider your purchase. Is it necessary? As you grow in wealth, there are more people around to consume what you have.
3. Having More Is Not Always Better.
“And what benefit are they to the owners except to feast their eyes on them?” (v. 11b)
- Solomon speaks to the frustration of the one who is loving money and desiring to see increase growth and profits. The frustration is that they are working so hard, day and night, to bring in just “one more dollar”. In doing this, they cannot enjoy what they have acquired! Their busy schedule, their driven nature for “one more dollar” only allows them to walk by and look at what they acquired.
- Stewardship Takeaway – Many times we do not listen to the advice and wisdom of others, but here we have the wisest man who ever lived offering those of us here today some eternal wisdom. Apply wisdom to your purchasing decisions. What purpose will it serve? Having more is not always better, for seeking material goods for the sake of ‘having more’ a frustrating way of life!
4. Increased Wealth Brings Increased Anxieties.
“The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether they eat little or much, but as for the rich, their abundance permits them no sleep.” (v. 12)
- Solomon describes this laborer’s sleep as sweet, or aromatic. The laborer’s sleep is desirable and pleasurable much like one’s intimate relationship with their spouse. They have worked hard all day, they have sufficient food to satisfy their hunger. Their nightly sleep was NOT just restful, but it was sweet and pleasurable.
- The wealth of those who live large very well may bring about frustrations, anxiety and sleeplessness. They are living to a high standard that needs a high income to sustain it. Not that they are living above their means, but they are living in such a way that one small financial, business or economic challenge could cause personal economic upheaval, or even downfall.
- Stewardship Takeaway #1 – Choosing to budget and live within your means is not only wise, but it allows you to bypass the anxiety and stress that many people wrestle with when they are seeking “one more dollar” as a business owner.
- Stewardship Takeaway #2 – Worship the GIVER of all good gifts
5. Hoarding Hurts.
“I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner.” (v. 13)
- Hoarding is a practice of both the poor and the wealthy. It crosses economic lines.
- Remember, increased wealth brings increased anxieties.
- “The hoarder has already lost his wealth in his mind. He always thinks that other hoarders are after it—he may even lose it in reality. He is a worried man—and he often looks it!”
- Stewardship Takeaway #1 – USE what is on loan to us for Kingdom purpose!
- Stewardship Takeaway #2 – One needs to decide in their own heart how much is too much!
6. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?
“… or wealth lost through some misfortune, so that when they have children there is nothing left for them to inherit.” (v. 14)
- Solomon states in this passage that the wealth in this situation was lost. Everything was lost. Nothing was left!
- Riches are uncertain, but it is certain that they are temporary (Job 1-2). The Lord remains forever.
- Stewardship Takeaway #1 – Trust in God as your provider, not your wealth.
- Stewardship Takeaway #2 – Don’t seek to increase your wealth through shady dealings or get-rich-quick schemes.
7. “Stuff” Stays.
“Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb, and as everyone comes, so they depart. (v. 15a)
- We come into the world holding onto nothing, and we leave with nothing in our hands. All of our assets and things that we acquire in our lifetime will be left behind when we graduate from here to Glory. Children’s homes, auction houses, Facebook marketplace, yard sales…these places and more will be the destination of all our “stuff”.
- Stewardship Takeaway – Money and stuff cannot go with you to Glory…so use it wisely!
8. Something Goes.
“ They take nothing from their toil that they can carry in their hands.” (v. 15b)
- Solomon is implying that there is something that goes with us when we die, that one cannot touch, hold or carry.
- I believe that I know what Solomon was referencing…The Soul of Man!
- Our investment in the lives of others, investments that help a person come to know and grow in Christ. It is that soul of that one individual, family member, or that group of ladies from your neighborhood. Your investment directly or indirectly that helped someone trust in or grow in Christ. The souls of men is our investment.
- Stewardship Takeaway – What world are you investing in?
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