What Do You Love? Proverbs for the Young

Friday Assembly: Headmaster’s Address (January 6, 2017)

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

The Adoration of the Magi, by Giotto

What do you love? You have to be careful with what you love. If you are just a lover of things, this proverb has a warning for you. If you just love having good things, you may not be able to afford to have good things. If you just love pleasure, if you just love feeling good, if you just love having fun, you are on the road to becoming poor.

This proverb warns us not to focus just on pleasure. What kind of things bring you pleasure? Getting the high score on a video game? Reading the next fantasy novel in a series? These things are not bad of themselves. But when they take over our life, when we become obsessed with them so much that we ignore our work, we don’t set ourselves up for success. If building the next Lego masterpiece always takes your time away from doing your chores, you are building your character in a way that does not lead to wealth.

Now why is it that we want wealth? Why do we want to love diligence instead of pleasure so we can become rich?

Today is a church holiday called Epiphany. On this day, some rich men came from the East to a little town called Bethlehem. These men were rich but they gained treasure not for themselves, but to lay it at the feet of a little baby. They used their wealth to praise the newborn Savior Jesus.

The wealth that we gain through diligence should be gained for this same reason, to lay it at the feet of our Savior in his service.

He who loves pleasure will be a poor man.

He who loves Jesus will be rich indeed.

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