Worn out? Proverbs 23:4

Proverbs 23:4  Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness.

This proverb seems to focus on two idols that usurp God’s place in our lives.  Wealth and self-confidence.  Jesus spoke about Mammon (wealth, riches), that you either serve God or become Mammon’s slave.  Worn out with trying too hard?

There is nothing wrong with being able to do something well.  This verse is not suggesting that a capable musician or a capable parent should feel wrong about feeling confident in that ability.  We are advised to do things well and do them as though for Jesus.  The cleverness mentioned in this verse is trust in is our own ability to please God, look after ourselves, wheel and deal our way out of trouble, plot our own success.  Maybe the parable about the rich farmer explains this proverb? [see Luke 12:13-21]

I wonder how many people think they are fine because they are earning good money and know things?  Self-dependency keeps people from trusting God and experiencing His amazing grace.

Galatians 6:3  If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.