Loving Pleasure Makes You Poor

“He who loves pleasure will be a poor man; He who loves wine and oil will not be rich” (Proverbs 21:17)

One of the fundamental keys to successfully managing your finances is successfully managing your personal character.  Wealth is not merely a matter of how much money you have, but what kind of person you are.  Give a man who loves pleasure one dollar and it will be spent on what a dollar can buy.  Give him one hundred dollars and one hundred dollars will be spent.  He says give me a million and I shall be satisfied.  So give him a million and he will spend a million dollars before he knows it.

A person who loves pleasure will always find new pleasures to spend their money on until it is gone.  A poor person will only go broke at a higher level if you give them more money because they haven’t yet mastered themselves.  If you give him $500 per week, $1,000 per week, $4000 per week or more, it will be gone just the same.  An amazing thing happens to a person who is ruled by his love for pleasure: no matter how much he gains, he finds a way to spend it.

A person who has not acquired wealth in his life will often say, “if only I made this much money, I would be able to save and have no financial worries.”  However, as time goes by and his pay increases, he finds that he has no more money than he did before.  All that has happened is that his expenses have increased to match the increase in pay.  In the world, we have those who make little and those who make much.  No matter how much a person makes, if he loves pleasure, the money will be spent to the full and he will be poor.

There is no secret in this regard to those who acquire wealth.  If you spend all the money you make you will have none to invest and work for you.  The wealthy know that pleasures are fleeting, that their benefits are short lived, but that assets, lands, businesses, and investments produce returns and income that can provide wealth for them and others.

Having a lot of money or a little money is of no consequence to God, but being a man of wealth or poverty is.  The rich man learns what the poor man rejects, that wealth comes as a result of discipline, wisdom and patient character.  The poor man spends his money on whatever pleasures he can buy today.  The rich man invests his money in the things which will return wealth to him.

We live in a society suffering from terrible poverty.  Not poverty in terms of possessions and pleasures, but poverty in terms of character and discipline.  Millions go bankrupt in this country every year because they love pleasure.  They spend all they get and they spend what they don’t have running up huge credit card debts and liquidating all the wealth they had acquired in their homes.  The problem isn’t with the money, but with the character of the one who manages his finances based on his lusts and desires for more pleasure.

How a person manages his money is a symptom of how the person thinks in his heart.  If he loves pleasure and allows his lusts to be satisfied at every turn, he will certainly be without money or means.  However, a man who through discipline realizes that the greater rewards of wealth come not by loving pleasure and taking ease, but by diligent labor and wise investment of his funds for the future will be the man who becomes wealthy.

Are you a person of wealth or poverty?  Do you save and invest a portion of what you earn or do you spend every penny?  The answers reveal much about your character and about how much you love pleasure.

- Written by David Liesenfelt  Copyright © 2004