11 Dishonest money dwindles away,
but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.
12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
Wealth easily obtained is easily lost, what chance has its holder had to become responsible? There is perhaps no greater catalyst of foolishness than easy money; pride, greed, anger, lust, sloth, gluttony and envy are all provoked by it. Though the fool sees wealth as his salvation, it becomes his curse. But there is hope for the one who cultivates character along with wealth, little by little, for he has learned to be grateful for what he has.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Perhaps the greatest hope of mankind is love, which exposes us to all manner of vulnerabilities. But the greater yearning we have in its absence, the greater satisfaction when the longing is finally fulfilled. One cannot have one without the other. There are those who would rather not hope, but the death of hope is also the death of satisfaction.
As C.S. Lewis put it: “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”