«Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, but he who gathers by labor will increase» (Proverbs 13:11).
I met him at a youth meeting. His eyes still showed his innocence and his smile indicated he had barely entered his youth. He’d been baptized a few months before and now wanted to start a new life. The boy, I’ll call John, had belonged to a group of bloody criminals who had wreaked havoc on society. The young man told me how he started getting into that world, especially wanting to get easy money, which came by the handful. John drove the latest model car like he had always dreamed of doing, enjoyed the company of attractive women and all kinds of luxuries. Apparently, he had everything he wanted. In a short time he had gotten more money than what his parents had saved throughout their lives! However, he was shaken when he saw how some of his friends died in confrontations with police or at the hands of rival gangs. Then he realized a similar future awaited him. One night, while driving his luxurious car, he heard a voice inviting him to get away from that world, and he answered,
«God, I’ve gone too far. I€s more than likely they’ll also kill me.»
«Son, place that in my hands.»
That night John decided to commit himself to Jesus and leave his criminal career. Suddenly, all the money, friends and luxury vanished. It was like waking up from a dream. He feared for his life. Then he told me,
«I’ll live for as long as God wants me to and I’ll do so to preach His Word.»
John began to share the good news of salvation with other criminals and to sow the seed of the gospel among extremely dangerous people. He also learned to enjoy one of the most wonderful gifts Heaven has given humans to edify their character: work.
It’s very dangerous to let yourself be dazzled by luxury and the lives of those who break laws. The truth is badly gained money doesn’t have God’s blessing. Easy money destroys the most precious treasure of youth: character. That’s why it’s better to prosper with integrity, depending on the heavenly Father’s blessing each step of the way and acknowledging His influence in our work lives.
Pray the Lord will help you be a thrifty, hard-working person today and help you make wise financial decisions.