In yesterday’s post I examined “The love of money”, so today we’ll talk about money again. Let’s examine the phrase “A fool and his money are soon parted”. It certainly sounds Biblical – like something right out of Proverbs, right? But it is actually from Five Hundred Pointes of Good Husbandrie, by Thomas Tusser (1573). (It is a book of Old English rhyme about how to run a household, and the lit student in me geeked out a bit.) But does the Bible actually say this…or something like this? Is the concept Biblical? Well, while Proverbs does have quite a few verses about how we should handle our money, none of them are exactly this phrase. Here a few actual Bible verses, some from Proverbs and some from the New Testament, about how we handle our money:
Proverbs 13:11 Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
Proverbs 21:17 Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
Proverbs 21:20 Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.
Luke 14:28-30 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’
1 Timothy 6:17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
So, we see in these verses that the Bible says we will be parted from our money:
- If we try to gain it hastily
- If we spend it on pleasure
- If we use up our resources too quickly
- If we don’t plan our expenditures carefully
- If we depend too much on riches, and not enough on God
While the wording is not exactly “a fool and his money”, this is one case where the worldly phrase certainly echoes the Biblical principals.