The subject matter is not a debate
It is neither a show of strength
It is not a show of shame
It is a mental upgrade and alertness
It is a self assessment and evaluation of wisdom status
It is a wakeup call to what wisdom has to offer
I sincerely hope you will embrace wisdom more in your daily life ©John Alabi
Think about it
1. Can one really be wise and be poor?
If yes, the question would be; what then is the essence of wisdom?
2. Can the life of the wise be miserable? If yes, then why not remain a Fool for life?
Meet the casts
1. The Poor
Being poor is relative
Being poor is inability to fly; fly you, your dream, project and desire
Being poor is to be helpless, despised, frustrated and incapacitated
Being poor is to be financially stranded and stagnated
Being poor is inability to meet financial obligations, needs and necessities as at when due
Being poor is not being okay
Being poor is to be uncomfortable
Being poor is to be imbalanced
2. The Rich
Riches here does not mean being materialistic
Wealth is the ability to have all your needs met per time
Ability, capacity endowment, financial power to make things happen to fulfill and execute your life assignment
Riches mean you are okay and comfortable
Riches mean ability to have all your needs met per time. ©John Alabi
The acidic test question
I like you to understand that, one fundamental, acidic and litmus test question which most often degenerates to endless debate is, ‘can one be wise and be poor? I will not attempt to provide a seemingly perfect ‘answer’, but I will try to ‘respond’ to it in the light of the scriptures. Perhaps this will settle some dusts, and if possible, nail it. In your opinion – can one be wise and be poor? ©John Alabi
A. Can one be wise and be poor? NO!
B. Can one be poor and be wise? Yes!
Ponder on the above assertions again, please.
Do you still agree to this point? Are we on same page? In other words:
Lack, scarcity and poverty are the evidential proof of foolishness in display.
Why did I say this?
No reference in the scriptures to justify ‘Wise but Poor’ but,
Two (2) references in the scriptures justify ‘Poor but Wise’
In other words;
One CANNOT be wise and be poor, but
One CAN be poor and be wise!
Note that the simple but profound wisdom here is that:
i. Wisdom comes first as a priority in ‘Wise but Poor’
ii. Wisdom comes after as a posterior in ‘Poor but Wise’!
‘Poor but Wise’ Versus ‘Wise but Poor’!
It is possible to be poor but wise. One may be tempted to say, ‘Poor but Wise and Vice Versa’. No reference however in the scriptures to back up 'wise but poor'. In other words, where wisdom comes first, prioritized, pursued, embraced, acquired and applied early in life, you seldom see the wise that will end up being poor materially. Consequently, you may find the ‘poor but wise’, but difficult, if not impossible to find the ‘wise but poor’. Little wonder the Psalmist, in the fourth and verses seven to nine summed it up thus: Wisdom should be given priority and proper place early in life and in all your acquisitions, acquire understanding and discretion. For in doing this, you will always have everything you need to live a good and joyful life. (my paraphrase). The major problem with the larger society is 'putting the cart before the horse' – A disconnect with wisdom early in life. To this end, rather than the blessing pursuing and overtaking you, the reverse becomes the order of the day. Truth be told, the pursuit today, of what ordinarily you would have acquired long ago with little or no stress is a deficiency of wisdom in time past. But, be encouraged to forge ahead with the pursuit and actualization of your dream and aspiration. Time and age should not be a barrier. ©John Alabi
The case study
Poor Youth, Poor Man!
The two (2) references that confirms ‘poor but wise’ are;
Eccl 4:13 says, Better a poor but wise YOUTH than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to take warning.
Eccl 9:15 says; Now there lived in that city a MAN poor but wise and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered that poor man.
In Eccl. 4:13 he was a Youth, poor but wise; ascribed to be ‘better’ than old but foolish king. Presumably, the same Youth became a Man in Eccl. 9:15, still poor but wise! Although, he conquered kingdom and delivered city by his wisdom at this point. Yet, he was ‘poor but wise’. Let’s pulse and ponder on this, why was he ‘poor but wise as a youth and remain poor as a man?’ ©John Alabi
A recap, please;
1. There is nothing like – wise but poor! At least in the light of the scripture!
2. One CANNOT be wise and be poor – absolutely impossible! Because, there is no scenario/case study to justify or reference this even in the scriptures. However,
3. There are two (2) scenarios to establish and justify ‘Poor but Wise’. Notably and categorically:
One CANNOT be wise and be poor, but,
One CAN be poor and be wise!
4. Thus being ‘Poor but wise’ is practically applicable to 85% of world population today, because very many were born ‘Poor!’
Broadly speaking, four categories of people partake in the global and world economy and finance;
1. The Wise i.e. The born rich that acquires wisdom = riches + wisdom
2. The Fool i.e. The born rich that refuses wisdom = riches – wisdom
3. The Lazy i.e. The born poor that acquires wisdom without Monetization Skill=Poverty+wisdom–ms
4. The Wiser i.e. The born poor that acquires wisdom with Monetization Skill =Poverty+wisdom+ms
The four categories of people operating the world economy and finance
Listed above are the four categories of people operating in the world market and global economy. You may simply identify where you fall.
1. The born rich that acquires wisdom becomes Wise!
The essence of wisdom here is to maintain, sustain, retain and multiply the wealth.
2. The born rich that refuses wisdom is considered a Fool! Eg. Nabal, 1 Sam. 25:2-30.
If a foolish person has money, it is wasted. Why? Because that foolish person does not use the money to become wise. Prov. 17:16
May my lord pay no attention to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name — his name is Fool, and folly goes with him. But as for me, your servant, I did not see the men my master sent. 1 Sam 25:25 NIV.
It is only a Fool that waste money and other resources eg. Nabal and Prov. 17:16; 19:3 & 10.
He did not use his money to become wise – money is a tool to become wise!
3. The born poor that acquires wisdom without trading/marketing skill is called lazy
They are born poor but acquire wisdom, but failed, or lacked the mechanism, modus operandi and skills to translate wisdom to wealth.
It is only the ‘lazy’ that left his field uncultivated. Proverbs 24:30-34.
It is only the ‘lazy’ that refused to trade his talent by hiding it in the ground. In Matt. 25:24 His Master described him as wicked and slothful. Lazy bone.
He believes in the future but do nothing to program his desires and aspirations into the future
He has a vision statement but not mission statement
4. The born poor that acquires wisdom plus marketing/trading skill become wiser and wealthy
Poor but wise mean born poor, but acquire wisdom to get out of poverty by translating it to wealth.
Just as being fat and potbelly are not signs of healthy living; riches, prosperity, and wealth may not be signs that one is wise or possess wisdom.
A fool can have or possess wealth or have it bestowed on him. That’s why the Bible says use your money become wise. Proverbs 17:16; 19:3 & 10
The essence of wisdom here is to translate it to wealth. Simple!
Going beyond surface dressing ‘can one be wise and be poor?’ It is noteworthy that generally;
1. The poor are somewhat always wise.
2. The rich leverage on their wealth to become wise and possibly wiser. Prov.17:16; 19:3 & 10
3. How can one translate his wisdom to wealth?
Generally; the poor are somewhat always wise! Perhaps for the hard knocks of poverty.
Nothing teaches you wisdom like poverty!
Nothing makes you rugged, dogged and desperate like poverty
Because they always have enough to learn and experiment with from their background.
The knowledge and wisdom gleaned and gained from the experience of poverty can be invaluable and cannot be undermined
You suddenly become a philosopher – philosophizing with everything
The best of talents, gifts, skills, potential, deposit of abundance, natural and spiritual resources are always lock up in the ghetto, and in the custody of the poor, the least expected places and people.
Without any established statistics and survey;
i. Many rich and wealthy today decided to get out of poverty
ii. Gather the rich and the poor together whether as children or adults – the most likely serious, smart, intelligent, clever and brilliant are most likely to be the poor!
iii. The poor have a lot to fire them up to be the very best in their chosen career or endeavor
iv. One thing you cannot take away from the poor as leverage out of poverty are their talents, gifting, potentials, skills, experience, resources, knowledge and wisdom etc
Wealth may be bestowed … poverty is become
Wealth may be sudden … poverty is a process
Wealth may be natural … poverty is gradual
Yes I know wealth as well is a process and is gradual. But I said that to nail a point;
You may be born poor but that does not make you called ‘poor’
Kindly note the following;
1. The Bible never addressed the guy as ‘poor’ at birth up to teenage years. There was no stigma on him as poor. Nobody stigmatized him ‘poor’ until he became a youth.
Not called ‘poor’ at birth
Not called ‘poor’ as teen or teenager (between age 0 - 19)
In other words, you are expected to have changed your status by the time you become a youth. You are expected to have taken responsibility for your change of status by the time you become a youth. Prov 10:4 nails it ‘He becomes poor who works with a slack and idle hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich’. AMP. Thus the Proverbs justify the fact that being ‘poor’ is become, not even inherited.
2. Yet, the guy became ‘poor’ as a youth. Hence, called ‘poor’ as a sign that he was responsible for his ‘poverty’ status. It wasn’t anybody’s fault but his. He became it himself. He blew the last chance he had when he was consulted by the nation on security, defense and warfare. Yet, he did not know how to key-in like Joseph did in Egypt. Worst still; he migrated into becoming a man, poor! Still poor! Pity! Even with the heavy load of wisdom!
He was not a Fool – he had wisdom needed by a city or a nation as the case may be
He was not immature – he was once a youth, and this time, a man. What then was his problem?
Laziness! It was only a lazy man that left his field uncultivated. Only the Lazy knew what to do but refused to do it. Only the Lazy knows so much (academically, educationally and knowledge wise) but does so little or nothing with what he knows. Ugochukwu of Joseph consulting Ltd nails it when he said, ‘until what you know becomes what you do – you don’t know anything’.
He had wisdom, yet did not leverage on it
He had opportunity to showcase himself to global limelight, but didn’t explore it
He had wisdom yet did not trade or market it.
He lacked the courage to monetize his potentials
He lacked courage to discuss money matter
He lacked the courage to talk business
He lacked courage to network, socialize and enter into MOU, partnership and relationship
How can the poor but wise translate his wisdom into wealth?
Translating wisdom to wealth
Have you ever sat down to ask why the Youth who became a Man remained Poor even with the heavy-load of wisdom resources in his custody? Many reasons but principally; I can authoritatively say;
He simply lacked money making ability and courage.
He is always shy, timid and ashamed to discuss money matters.
He simply lacked the initiative to negotiate business deals. If you don’t believe, ask yourself – what would it cost him to negotiate or enter into MOU with the king and the citizenries of the city? What would it cost him to demand royalty annually from the City and the King for consultation service he rendered? Do you think he would remain poor, be despised and forgotten if these were done? I don’t think so. Learn to sell and market you and all yours.
He simply didn’t know how to commercialize, trade, exchange, and market the heavy deposit of resources in him. So many degree holders in marketing cannot even market themselves and they want to market a product. Moneymaking ability is evidential to how foolish or wise you are. Before prospecting a client, they buy into YOU first.
You must learn to commercialize, trade, market and exchange everything you have: talents, gifts, skills and resources for monetary value and reward.
This is the juncture where most intelligence, education and certificates are defeated. So many are so wise, educated and so intelligent to be poor! Wealth does not answer to education, intelligence or whatever but to trading. That is why those with little or no former education or certificates seems to have upper hands. Selah! ©John Alabi
1. Wisdom does not automatically translate to wealth until it is exchanged for financial reward
2. It is crystal clear that ‘Wisdom’ is not enough to make you rich/wealthy except you were born into wealth. This we saw from our case study Eccl. 4:13 & 9:15
3. It is also crystal clear ‘Foolishness’ does not mean you cannot be wealthy. You can find money in the hands of Fools by the act of providence, begging or hard work. If the Fool ‘Works’ for it he would have money, Prov. 30:22. And the ‘Wise’ may remain poor if he doesn’t learn to monetize, commercialize, trade and market the heavy load of wisdom resources in him. Little wonder the acclaimed Fools can make money without wisdom in them. Why? Because, they did what the wise are not doing. What? Yes you heard me right.
4. Wealth and possession may not be signs of wisdom but they are expression, manifestation, demonstration and reflection of how wise you are.
5. Wealth is the mirror of wisdom; poverty is a shadow of foolishness
6. The acidic test question for wisdom is what have you done and achieved with it?
7. Don’t tell how wise you are – show how wisdom has better your lot.
8. There is need to translate wisdom into wealth.
9. Those who will not pay for your service (even when they can afford it) cannot appreciate, celebrate and acknowledge your worth, wisdom and value. Hence cannot reference you even where and when it worked for them. De-emphasize such.
10. From the above submission, the problem of the youth and the man in Eccl. 4:13 & 9:15 was simply not a deficiency of wisdom or resources to make wealth but laziness. Interestingly, even the scriptures did not accuse him of being foolish. Only the lazy had/have all the resources available at his/her finger tips but do nothing, as in absolutely nothing with it to make wealth. ©John Alabi