Proverbs 13:7

One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.

One can take this proverb negatively or positively. We look down on the person who pretends to be what he is not. We consider him foolish who pretends to have wealth he does not possess by spending himself in debt or going to great length to look like he has wealth. And we find the wealthy person a bore who pretends to be poor by complaining about costs and how little he has.

On the other hand, it is admirable not to let poverty get you down, but instead to live with the attitude of being rich by enjoying each day and using wisely what you have. And it is proper not to flaunt your wealth, living simply with the knowledge that wealth is fleeting.

To apply this proverb in the latter manner, what we really need is to be rich in Christ and poor in spirit. We need to own and rejoice in the riches that we have in Jesus Christ, for truly as such we are wealthy beyond all earthly means. And if we are poor in spirit; i.e. if we are humble about our own personal abilities and wealth, then all the more we will more freely exercise and enjoy Christ’s riches. In Christ we are indeed rich, though we may have no earthly wealth; and without Christ we are indeed impoverished, though we may have all the wealth in the world.

© 2024 Tenth Presbyterian Church.

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in its entirety or in unaltered excerpts, as long as you do not charge a fee. For Internet posting, please use only unaltered excerpts (not the content in its entirety) and provide a hyperlink to this page, or embed the entire material hosted on Tenth channels. You may not re-upload the material in its entirety. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Tenth Presbyterian Church.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2024 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: