Little by Little Everyday

March 11, 2024

man holding basket

Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.

Proverbs 13:11

Why are there long lines in lotto counters? Why are casinos not in danger of losing customers? Why are siblings and relatives squabbling ferociously for the inheritence their passed-away loved ones leave behind? Why are there many victims of get-rich-quick scams? The answer: instant wealth is the name of the game. Everyone wants to have wealth quickly and instantly. If you give a young person a choice of whether to work hard with a minimum wage or to enter a networking scheme where you get 50% interest rate in your investment, chances are many will pick the latter over the former.

Yet God in His wisdom gives us a better principle: don’t gain wealth hastily, instead, work hard, litle by little, faithfully over time. Why is this wisdom? He tells us that wisdom gained instantly and, in a rush, will dwindle quickly, yet developing habits of working hard over time even if wealth is gained little by little increasess it.

Why is that? Practical experience identifies three reasons. First, wealth hastily gained gives the illusion that your wealth will not dwindle quickly if you use it on a ‘’few’ wants. Lotto winners can testify to this, that the wealth they gained upon winning the jackpot does not last for years. Despite counseling, they often feel that the amount will not dwindle quickly, and so many spend their earnings wantonly and without accountability on their wants and desires. However, wealth gained little by little over time through hard work teaches the person to be wise and prudent in spending the little he has. A person who has minimum wage has to budget for multiple needs, learning skills and gaining wisdom in maximizing each peso to be used wisely and not wantonly in order for him and his family to survive and eventually thrive.

Second, wealth gained hastily tends to attract people around you who also want to gain wealth hastily, except this time, they see you as the source of that instant wealth. Relatives and friends would come and ask financial favors from them, citing their love, loyalty, and friendship during the difficult seasons of the lotto winner. After a while, the wealth that was initially gained often is reduced to zero. Gaining wealth little by little however, does not attract such attention. In fact, it attracts charity and collaboration opportunities from friends and relatives. A large family vacation is made possible not because one has thousands of pesos to spend for the trip, but rather each income-earning adult feels the sense of responsibility to contribute to the vacation fund in order to make it a reality.

Finally, wealth gained hastily does not develop work habits and wisdom required to keep the wealth increasing instead of decreasing. Increasing wealth biblically is a principle of sowing and reaping. One needs to know how to sow in such a way that what he sows will produce harvest. This can happen whether he starts working 8 hours a day (and travelling to work 4 hours in heavy traffice) to receive a minimum wage, or to take risk in investing life-savings to start a business that he hopes will grow. When he does that regularly, he experiences first hand the pattern of sowing and reaping, and will thus most likely apply it to the wealth he receives. However a person who gains wealth hastily only knows reaping and will be in danger of developing habits of reaping. If all he knows is how to get, how to spend – without knowing how to sow, to save, to invest, then his resources will definitely dwindle quickly.

Today, you and I may be tempted to find ways to get rich quick. Many will offer it in different ways. Pray that the Lord wil give us wisdom to discern between such offers, that we may pursue one that teaches us to sow faithfully over time, little by little. Pray also that the Lord will give us the will to resist such temptations, and the will to be faithful in the work we are doing, even if the income is only earned little by little.

Today, your wealth can start increasing little by little. You can start by sowing faithfully through tithing. You can also start setting aside a few pesos for your savings. Better in setting aside little by little over time, than imagining you can set aside much when you earn a bigger income tomorrow (clue: you won’t, because saving is a habit developed over time). You can also start by being faithful in the work you are doing now, whether it be studying well in your school subjects, starting a small business by selling baked goods to your friends, or working in a job you applied as a temporary job until you get to your dream career. Just start, even if the wealth you seem to gain is small for your own taste.

For the Proverb shows us, that even if it is gained little by little, it increases.


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