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Proverbial Hump Day: Proverbs 13:7
What are you pretending to be?
More than three centuries later, a rock trio from Canada repeated the lines in their famous anthem “Limelight.”
Proverbs 13:7 reminds me of these lines in quite an uncanny way.
One pretends to be rich, but has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.
One might ask, “Why would anyone pretend to be poor?” Well, let’s not miss the point.
Many a man, and woman too, have fantasized about wealth; and just as many have pretended to be above their means for social gain. But even if they had the wealth they pretend to have, or wish they had, they’d have nothing. For you can’t go to your grave with the acquisitions you collect in this life.
The word “nothing” doesn’t necessarily mean flat broke, nor should it be taken literally in the material sense. It should be taken literally in the spiritual sense. To cast all one’s hopes on material wealth is spiritual bankruptcy.
On the other hand, even a wealthy man may be poor in spirit.
The key to this verse is to divide it into two clauses. The first half of each clause is a reference to the material; the second half is a reference to the spirit. You can be rich or pretend to be rich, and have no spiritual wealth at all. By the same token, you can be dirt poor and be spiritually wealthy. Most of us, I dare so, are somewhere in the middle on both counts.
Have you given any thought to your spiritual wealth status?
Allen Taylor is the author of I Am Not the King.