Something inside each one of us wants to earn all our resources up front, taking them in all at once, rather than over the long haul. That’s the way many of us would design it, if we were the sole provider.
An examination of Proverbs offers wisdom for the vertical and horizontal lines of the flow of resources. The vertical represents the Ups and Downs. The horizontal represents the Ins and Outs. Since resources originate by coming in to our lives, God gives us the Ins, Outs, Ups, and Downs of Resources in Wisdom’s Ten W’s: Ten Characteristics of a Wise and Generous Heart.
Win – Little by Little (Proverbs 13:11; 30:8-9)
Solomon advised, “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed” (Proverbs 16:3). He was communicating that God is our Provider. Abraham gave this name (Yahweh Yireh) to the mountaintop where God had provided the sacrificial ram in place of his son Isaac (Genesis 22:14).
Solomon said that it is wise and generous to win our resources little by little. He observed, “Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow” (Proverbs 13:11). God has designed that we take in our time, talent, and treasure little by little.
We take in our time little by little. We take in our time moment by moment. None of us can live in the past or the future, only in the present which comes to us second by second.
We take in our talent little by little. We take in our talent a piece at a time. None of us was born with the superior polished talent that we exhibit in our careers. Rather, our talent was learned skill by skill and built little by little.
We take in our treasure little by little. We take in our treasure at fair market increments. For example, the stock market frowns on IPO’s that line the pockets of its operators with exorbitant amounts of cash. Rarely does anyone purchase an asset and immediately resell it for ten times that amount. Few ever receive their entire lifetime wages at the beginning of their careers.
Regarding resources, Solomon warned, “Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God” (Proverbs 30:8-9). When we win our resources little by little, we trust God as our Provider, relying on Him for the volume.