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« Inflation Part 2: The Results of Underreporting Inflation | Main | How to Start Preparing for a Job Transition Before You Have To »

July 13, 2008


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I really appreciate these Sunday editions. Thanks you very much for them.

I understand the concepts here (spend less than you earn, don't be a show off, etc.), but this and your other post you link to from this one both seem to be lauding people who, no matter how well meaning, deceive. Basically, from the quotes ALONE, what's being said here is that when you lie, it's better to make yourself seem less than you are instead of more. So, since this is about the bible and finance my question is this; in what way is it better for your SOUL to pretend to be poor when you are well-off instead of pretending to be wealthy when you are poor?

GeekMan --

It's NOT saying to be deceptive. What it's saying is:

1. If you live above your means by spending what you don't have just to put on a show for others, you'll end up poor.

2. You don't need to impress people with the "things" you own. Simply control your spending, save, etc. and though you may look like you're not wealthy, you will be. It's the same sort of thought discussed in The Millionaire Next Door -- many times the people who don't look wealthy, really are.

I think it's only the middle class that is flamboyant!

Not the rich and poor.

Most Americans want to succeed and to have power and freedom! However, the ones that don't want it the hard way. Usually are the ones with high car payment and mortage half their income. They rather get their toys up front

FMF --

Like I said, I do understand all that. However, since your post is about the Bible and money, and the Bible is supposed to be a spiritual guide, I feel that my original question is still valid. How does pretending to be something you're not (rich when poor, poor when rich) help your soul? To put it another way, if Bill Gates pretended to be only slightly well-off and were to live in a 1,500 square foot ranch house in Tulsa, Oklahoma that cost him $200K and he saved every dime he made except to donate 20% of his money every year, would that be better than the Bill Gates we know today?

I rarely use the NKJV, but I think the translation makes a little more sense in this case, "There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches."

Our great riches are in Christ, even when we've given sacrificially to those in need.

all these are in 2008 - are you still out there?

Geekman - your conclusion that this is about deception makes sense only if you make a couple of assumptions.

1. The verse is a statement of fact. You are interpreting it to be a command of action. (If you are wealthy, then you should act poor.)

2. Assuming that it is a command, you are also assuming that while pretending to be poor, the intention / reason for pretending was to make people think the rich person was poor. However it is possible to pretend to be poor and even look poor without being deceptive. Have you ever heard of people who pretend they are still living on a college budget even if they are making a good salary. If you see them driving down the street in an old car and note that they are still living with a couple of roommates in a cheaper apartment, you might think that they are on a tight budget because they aren't making too much money, and they are in fact pretending they are living on a lower income than they actually are. However, this still does not mean that deception is involved.

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