Wealth Makes Many Friends

My Marine commanding officer called me in and asked me why I had not participated in a particular event that was in his terms “required” of the entire company. As far as I can remember, it was the only time I had directly disobeyed a command. Captain Birch said to me, & … More

Integrity

It is far better to be poor and walk before the Lord in righteousness than to be wealthy and dishonest (v. 1). Integrity is far more valuable than wealth, but many people don’t act as if they believe it. To act without knowledge may lead to hasty blunders (v. 2). A fool brings problems on himself (v. 3). Most wealthy persons have many friends while poverty often results in loss of friends (v. 4).  Many will stay around the rich hoping to get some of his wealth while they think it is embarrassing to be associated with poor people. Dishonest witnesses and liars won’t escape punishment (v. 5). The rich have money to buy friends and often use this to even pervert justice (v. 6).  How different this is than our Lord who appeared on earth as one of the poor and was charged with receiving sinners and eating with them.

If you are poor, your own relatives reject you, and your friends are worse. When you really need them, they are not there (v. 7). He who gains wisdom loves his own life; he who keeps understanding shall prosper and find good (v. 8). This does not condone the self-centered person who loves and protects his or her own self-centered interests. Instead it encourages those who really care about themselves to seek wisdom. Dishonest witnesses and liars will be destroyed (v. 9). It isn’t right for a fool to live in luxury or for a slave to rule in place of a king (v. 10).Good sense makes a man restrain his anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression or an offense (v. 11). The king’s wrath is as terrifying as the roaring of a lion, but his favor is as refreshing as dew upon the grass (v 12).

Application

I never want my actions to show that I have sacrificed my integrity to increase my wealth. Integrity is more important than money ever can be.

Proverbs 19:1-9 (English Standard Version)

Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool. Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way. When a man's folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the LORD. Wealth brings many new friends, but a poor man is deserted by his friend. A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will not escape. Many seek the favor of a generous man, and everyone is a friend to a man who gives gifts. All a poor man's brothers hate him; how much more do his friends go far from him! He pursues them with words, but does not have them. Whoever gets sense loves his own soul; he who keeps understanding will discover good. A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will perish.

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