Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich (Prov. 21:17, ESV).
You say, “Pastor, isn’t it right to enjoy the fruits of your labor?” Yes, that is correct. Qoheleth wrote, “And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil.
But what did Qoheleth realize with all his pleasures? He realized that all is emptiness and unsatisfying. “Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity [emptiness; unsatisfying experiences] and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” (Eccl. 2:10-11, ESV).
Did you just receive your salary? Did you receive some money from someone? The first thing to do is to give the tithe (10% of your income) back to the Lord. Giving back to the Lord shows that your satisfaction, your pleasure, and your joy is in the Lord, and not in your pleasures. The greatest gladness, the only lasting pleasure, and the only meaningful joy, is the joy of the Lord. Therefore, you will give back to God, showing that you no longer live for your own pleasures. You will serve only the pleasure of the Lord.
The second thing to do is to say no to your friends. Your friends will say, “Bangka be!” (Spend money on us.) “Bangkahe ang barkada mo, pero, dad a sila didto sa Julie’s bakeshop, o sa mga barato nga kan anan.” (Spend your hard-earned money on your friends. But bring them to low-cost Julie’s bakeshop, or some cheap diner.) Resist the temptation to spend, spend, and spend.
The third thing to do is to save your hard-earned money. Put it in a house and lot. Invest it in a small business.
Don’t love pleasure, or you will become poor.