The fifth step to Teaching Wisdom To Our Children is to lead them to understand the power of the influence of things. That includes money and possessions. Both have been the downfall of millions of people through history.
A simple way of explaining the process from enticement to wise results is found in the first chapter of Proverbs: “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not…My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path.” If someone entices you to sin, don’t do it. Easier said than done, I know, but the fact remains that if we don’t consent to the enticement to sin, we won’t commit that sin.
We may think our generation is different than any other that has ever come before, but that’s not true. History repeats itself continually because of the nature of the human race. Everyone who has ever lived (except for Jesus Christ) was born a sinner. Sinners sin. They sin every day of their lives. Descendents of sinners continue to sin because they are also sinners. The sin nature is passed from parent to child throughout the ages. God makes that clear throughout His Word. The complete sinfulness of the human race is a powerful theme of the Apostle Paul’s letters.
“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Romans 3:20)
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Romans 5:12)
“But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” (Galatians 3:22)
One of the biggest enticements to sin is in the area of getting things through immoral or illegal means. The desire for money and things drives many people to do terrible things to other people. Look at the full context of the verses quoted above from Proverbs 1:10-19 and you’ll see how sinners are driven to harm others just so they can increase their personal wealth.
“My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives. So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.”
“Greedy of gain.” That’s the heart and mind motivation behind much of the crime in our world; the desire to “find all precious substance” and “fill our houses with spoil.” God warns His children against that behavior. It is unwise and has a bad result: “which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.” The sinful desire for “things” ruins people’s lives. We must help our children understand that truth!
Here are Scriptural insights to use when teaching children about getting things. It’s important they know what God says about them, especially in a world that has gone insane in its desire for money and possessions.
“Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:14-23
“Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it…I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver. I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.” Proverbs 8:10-11, 17-21
“Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death. The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked.” Proverbs 10:2-3
“A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight. When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom. The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them. Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.” Proverbs 11:1-4
“Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.” Proverbs 13:11
“In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble…Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith…He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.” Proverbs 15:6,16, 27
“Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right…How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver…Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.” Proverbs 16:8,16,19
“Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the LORD…There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel…Divers weights are an abomination unto the LORD; and a false balance is not good.” Proverbs 20:10,15,23
“The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death. The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment.” Proverbs 21:6-7
“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all…Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate: For the LORD will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.” Proverbs 22:1-2, 22-23
“Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven. Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.” Proverbs 23:5-7
“Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.” Proverbs 24:1-2
“Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich. Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father. He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor. He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination. Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit: but the upright shall have good things in possession. The rich man is wise in his own conceit; but the poor that hath understanding searcheth him out…A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent. To have respect of persons is not good: for for a piece of bread that man will transgress. He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him. He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue. Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, It is no transgression; the same is the companion of a destroyer. He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.” Proverbs 28:6-11, 20-25
“Whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul: he heareth cursing, and betrayeth it not.” Proverbs 29:24
“Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.” Proverbs 30:7-9
Great advice from the Great God who loves you and your children so much that He gave His Son to die for our sins and give us the gift of eternal life.
We’re almost finished. Join us next time for some final thoughts about Teaching Wisdom to Children.