When you gaze upon riches, they are gone,
for they surely make wings for themselves,
and fly off into the sky like an eagle!
Do not eat the food of a stingy person,
do not crave his delicacies;
for he is like someone calculating the cost in his mind.
“Eat and drink,” he says to you,
but his heart is not with you;
you will vomit up the little bit you have eaten,
and will have wasted your pleasant words.
I don’t think I have to put together a big, fancy argument to be able to convince you that riches are fleeting. I suppose someone might read this someday and think that their riches will never fade. I suppose there might be a day when the majority of people around you might be so secure in their finances that there is no doubt in their mind where their financial future lies. I suppose.
But, from where I sit today, I don’t think that’s the case. I heard a statistic the other day that the average worker is still earning approximately 20% less than they were in 2007. And since that was six years ago, it seems that many people will understand the truth of this proverb. When you gaze upon riches, they are gone. They make wings for themselves and fly off like an eagle.
Just like the eagle, many people I know watched their retirement accounts and savings account fly away like an eagle. People who had been working hard for many years all of a sudden had no income, no savings and no hope of any change. And it happened almost literally overnight. Actually, overnoon. Overnoon, everyone went from being concerned about their finances to being fairly certain they were now up a creek without a paddle. Overnoon, millionaires became thousandaires, thousandaires – hundredaires and hundredairs – broke. All overnoon.
This is how it is with money. Overnoon it’s gone. Overnoon it fades away. That’s why it’s important not to spend your life going after it. That’s why it’s important not to make everything revolve around it. Because, overnoon, it’s gone.
Now to the stingy person. For starters, yes, the bible does talk about being stingy and how it’s not a good thing. If you thought you were justified in being stingy, I’m sorry, but this proverb bursts your bubble. Stinginess is a bad thing. We are supposed to be generous with our resources, not hoard them like preppers.
It’s amazing just how stern this proverb is on the stingy person. It’s a waste of breath to even have conversation with a stingy person. You will have wasted your words. You shouldn’t eat the food offered to you from a stingy person because they’re doing the math in their head as to how much of their money you just ate.
It all goes back to having a proper perspective on money. When money starts trumping things, you’re in trouble. When money starts trumping people, you’re in big trouble. But how many people do you know who have let their stinginess ruin relationships? It’s not worth it. Money is so not worth all the fuss.