Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Money on the Mind: A Lesson on Daily Bread

Proverbs 30:8-9
Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.  

Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the LORD ?' Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.

My husband and I were reading through Proverbs last night when we came upon this thought provoking verse.  The words of the writer have since then echoed in my mind, "Give me only my daily bread...."

The interesting thing about this passage is that it's probably a phrase that we say fairly often.  In fact, just this week I remember uttering these words at a prayer meeting as we were led in saying the Lord's prayer..."Give us this day our daily bread". 

As I think about this phrase, I'm afraid I've lost the full meaning of these powerful words.   I may utter this request in my prayers, but my life tells a different story. 

When I think of the term "daily bread", I think of the idea of "portion".  Requesting for my daily bread, then, is asking God to give me exactly what I need for that day- no more, no less.  I'm reminded of the story in Exodus, when God provided manna for the Israelites on a day to day basis.  They were commanded to gather only what they needed to eat for that day.  They were challenged to trust God even in this season of famine, that He would provide what they needed from day to day.  This required them to deny logic, to say no to the comfort of surplus, and to fully trust that God would be their provider.    They were asked to trust completely in their daily bread. 

Lately, daily bread is the last thing that my life seems to be asking for.  I long for surplus, for excess, for riches.  Many times, my peace seems to be rooted in these things, rather than in the sheer knowledge that my God will provide. 

The author of this proverb was truly a wise man.  Not only did he understand the struggles of poverty, he also recognized the danger of riches.  How many Christians can say the same?  How many of us have prayed against riches because we saw the great responsibility that came with surplus?  How many of us have asked God to give us only our daily bread, so that we could learn to trust Him more and more? 

For me, that prayer has been no where near the forefront of my mind. 

I am challenged by this passage to truly change the way I see blessing.  I want to live a life that pleads with God to give me nothing more than my daily bread.  I want to have a heart that can say with no hesitation that I trust my God to be my portion and my satisfaction through the richest and the poorest seasons of my life.  My God, who knows my needs.  My God, who knows exactly what is enough for me.  My God, who alone can provide my daily bread. 

Give us this day our daily bread. Amen. 


  1. You know that account of Jesus and the rich young Ruler? The one where Jesus zeros in on the guys dependence on his riches and tells him to give away his fortune and follow Jesus? Well, do you think there is ANYONE in the whole world that thinks that story applies to them?

  2. A much needed reminder. Thanks, Deb.

  3. Thesauros, that's such a great point. I really believe that wealth is one of America's greatest vices...and Christians at large, really. Thanks for reading and thanks even more for your thoughts!

  4. Thank you for your insight. I agree that in America, our dependence upon God is quite weakened with the great abundance we have here. I do think that a great many people do strive after riches that will ultimately pass away. However, I don't think the solution is to exalt poverty either.

    Bricks are tools and are amoral. A brick doesn't care if you build a hospital with it or throw it through a window. The brick, in the hand of the user, takes on that user's characteristics while in use. Money is also a tool and is amoral. It can be used for great good or great evil. Therefore, it is a character issue of the person who is holding that money. It's the *love* of money (i.e., selfishness/greed), and not money itself (i.e., the actual currency), which is the root of evil.

    Luke 14:28-30
    For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he may have enough to finish it; lest perhaps, after he has laid the foundation and is not able to finish, all those seeing begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build and was not able to finish.

    The above are the words of Jesus. Clearly, this is an indication that resources are to be saved and amassed for bigger projects and that we are not only to seek our daily bread.

    Ecclesiastes 11:2
    Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth.

    This discusses diversification in your resources, so as to not have all of your eggs in the same basket. This passage shows that it is important to save for that "rainy day."

    One of the statements that has convicted me is this: "What could the people of God do for the kingdom of God if they were debt free?" Wow. Only 2-3% of Christians tithe (per Barna research). What could be accomplished if 100% did? Doesn't debt ultimately come from discontentment (and our culture's methodology for bypassing the need for a strong work ethic - at least for the short term)? It profoundly goes back to the heart much more so than the wallet.

  5. Danette gave me a link to your blog and since then I have looked forward to every post from you! Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom from God with the world! It is so encouraging!

  6. Eric, thanks you for your wisdom! You are right in saying that it ultimately comes down to a matter of the heart. I do believe that God encourages us to be wise....otherwise, I wouldn't have a savings account :) But ultimately, I would have to say that I assume most American Christians dabble on the side of greed rather than wisdom...I myself can be that can of Christian at times.

    I do appreciate your balanced perspective, and most of all, for taking the time to read these posts! Thanks so much and I hope you and yours and doing well! God bless.

  7. Brianna, wow, thanks for such kind words. It's an honor to know you are diligently reading theses posts. But ultimately, before my head gets too big ;), I want to say that honestly, every one of these posts comes only by diving inspiration of God's spirit. Sometimes I reread a post and think- man, I don't even remember writing that part- but it was totally written to convict me....

    God has been challenging me through his word....I appreciate your kind words!

  8. I completely understand the re-reading and not remembering having written it! It happens to me a lot as well, and I continue to learn from what God has revealed to me in the past! :) Continue seeking after His heart, He is using you for great things. My motto lately has been along the lines of I'll continue talking/writing/tweeting whatever if it is glorifying God, if not then it's meaningless and has no purpose. Your words are definitely a reflection of God's heart.


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