Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
do not trust your own cleverness.
– Proverbs 23:4 (NIV)
Riches are fleeting.
If you don’t believe me, just look at how this preceding verse is followed up.
Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
for they will surely sprout wings
and fly off to the sky like an eagle.
-Proverbs 23:5 (NIV)
The very money that you worked yourself into an early grave to obtain can “sprout wings” and “fly off.” That doesn’t sound like a solid and prudent investment of anyone’s time and other resources like energy and thought. It sounds like a waste. In fact, the Scriptures are not saying that wealth is a waste. The words relate to the effort that other versions and translations of the Bible consider to be an effort to “overwork.” It gives a connotation and warning not to overwork to become rich.
The Book of Proverbs advises a different approach in chapter 13; “. . . but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.”
Ask yourself which way you are going about obtaining wealth and riches.
Are you doing yourself a favor by gathering it “little by little?” Or, are you doing yourself a disservice by seeking to “overwork” to get there?
At the end of the day, the choice is yours. You can work yourself into a frenzy and have little to show for it except for a bunch of stress and agony to go along with an ulcer or panic attacks of anxiety. You can also see all of what you have saved to go away right out of your own hands and into the hands of another.
A man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor, so that he lacks nothing for himself of all he desires; yet God does not give him power to eat of it, but a foreigner consumes it. This is vanity, and it is an evil affliction. – Ecclesiastes 6:2 (NKJV)