Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 19:1 Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.
Integrity Vs. Crooked
As some today believe in a type of gospel that says the good will always be rich in money on this earth… so it was in Solomon's day and he says… No!
Today Solomon tells us how there is something better than a foolish person with bent, twisted, crafty, dishonest, untrustworthy speech… and that is… a man who walks in integrity; in truth and with honor… Even a man who is dirt poor?… Yes… So I infer from Solomon's words that someone who is homeless on the street without a penny to their name but who walks with honor is better than a liar.
And yet, we are all tempted to rationalize crooked speech for various reasons…
It may be that we believe that we deserve to manipulate others for our own good because we have been deceived ourselves and taken advantage of.
We rationalize and our speech becomes twisted when we defend our sin.
We rationalize our twisted speech when we bear false witness for the good of the very ones we deceive. We think we know best and we bear false witness to protect others. Many times it is much easier on us to deceive than being honest.
If the poor person who walks honestly and above reproach is better than a deceiver… What about others besides the poor? What of those mentally disadvantaged? What of the clinically depressed? What of the abused? What about those sold into slavery across the globe? Yes to all these!!! Yes to you and yes to me! It is better by far to walk in integrity than deception and dishonesty.
And so, I expect that whether you are Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or Christian… even Atheist… you likely concur with Solomons wise words. Integrity and honor are good while falsehood and crooked speech are bad.
And if we are all honest with ourselves, we will also agree that our life is stained with self centeredness which should bring us shame. Our lives are not filled with integrity. Sure there are times we look good and clean on the outside. We do good things and others give us honor for doing so… but we know it is not truly deserved. Down deep in our soul our heart knows the truth and so does our Maker. He is all that is good in the Universe. He deserves the honor. But we like the praise and honor and glory that comes from mankind… Lucifer, satan… the devil… he liked the glory… he wanted Gods glory for himself.
The good news is that where the first man Adam and all his descendants failed in integrity,.. the offspring of the woman, Jesus Christ the promised one succeeded. And for all who delight in him… he puts his righteousness into our bankrupt account. He even deposited the payment for all our sin into his account receiving payment by his death on the Cross and then he went further defeating death itself. One day he will raise us up incorruptible as he was raised… But until then and while here he gives us the same power that raised him to overcome sin in our daily life as we walk in his Spirit.