Proverbs 28:6 Integrity

Proverbs 28:6 – Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.  I just came across this one today and it caught my eye.

The first thing I took from this was the word integrity.  The definition of integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong morals.  Other synonyms for integrity are honor, uprightness, noble, ethics, virtue, and decency.  It is said in the 10 commandments ‘Thou shalt not lie.’  Of course, since this is in the Commandments God will still think it is important for people to have integrity.

The next thing that got my attention was he was comparing being poor with being rich.    That you working hard to get a better and luxurious life for you and your family doesn’t mean a whole lot to God if you have lost your honesty.

The fact that being poor is just the money position you are in, but not who you are.  You can choose to be honest or a crook no matter how much money you have.  God is looking to see what kind of person you are inside and not how many possessions you own.

Another thing I started thinking was that many rich people give money to help others.  Some would do this to show their standing in the community, though I hope most from the goodness of their hearts.  So, God knowing this He still puts more praise on a poor person, who can’t give much money, who has lived his life with integrity.

In my personal life, I try so hard not to lie.  I do catch a white lie come out of my mouth off and on when I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.  Even these are few and far between.  I have told a couple of bigger lies in my past and I don’t like the way they make me feel.  When I did get caught lying, as a child, I did not like it.  And knowing that God doesn’t approve of lying helps me keep on the straight and narrow.

Some time in my childhood or teenhood I decided to not make a promise that I couldn’t guarantee that I could keep.  One promise I have made is when I told my daughter that I will always love her.  I can’t believe this ever being untrue.  I remember making my friends upset when I wouldn’t promise to do something or keep a secret.  I would give my word which had a lot of value, but not a promise.

How are you living your life with integrity?  What do you think about this scripture?

Verse: Matthew 12:36 – 37

Verse: Matthew 12:36-37

(Tell me what this verse means to you.)

36. I tell you on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.  37. for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.

Wow… can you imagine if we only said nice things to friends, family, and the strangers we meet?  How much happier and friendly we would be around each other?

My Mother-in-law and I were talking just the day before I got this scripture.  She told me a story about her and a lady in her bible class.  Weekly when this lady came to bible class she would answer the study questions wrong and just didn’t seem to care to study for the class.  After a couple of months my mother-in-law went up to her and said something like, ‘So, don’t you read the books or study for these classes?’

After that statement the lady told her about the car accident she was in and that it left her with brain damage.  When she reads it is very hard for her to remember anything. Though she did enjoy coming to the bible study and listening to everyone discuss the scriptures.

That was the last day the lady came to bible study.  My mother-in-law didn’t mean to hurt her feelings.  Though she did accuse her of not studying because it was obvious to my mother-in-law that she wasn’t taking the time to learn the answers.  Now my mother-in-law feels so bad and is going to try to find her to apologize.

What if we never said anything that would hurt someone’s feelings?  What if we never said anything that we needed to apologize for?  What if you didn’t think the worse of a person or situation?  What if we just said things that lifted people up and made them stronger and happier people?

I do not believe in lying, though there are many things that we really don’t need to say.  We may think the person may need to hear the information but many times it is just us wanting to point something out.  Just telling someone that something is wrong about them is usually not helpful to the person.

Maybe when you want to tell someone something that is critical or upsetting. First, ask questions and see if you can find out why this is happening.  Then if you feel you still need to say it, then have a solution lined up for them.

Example:    Your neighbor has a car that is run down and it is not looking good in the neighborhood.  Instead of just saying, ‘You need to get a newer car because this one is a real eye sore.’  Find out about the car.

You: ‘So how long have you had this car?’
Neighbor: ‘This was my dad’s car.  When he died 3 years ago it became mine.’
You: ‘It sounds like it has a lot of sentimental value.  Are you trying to fix it up?
Neighbor: ‘Yes, I have been working on the engine and transmission. That is now running well.  Next I need to save up for the body work.’

So at this point you can tell him about being upset, though just saying. ‘Fix up the body soon because it is an eye sore.’ will not be helpful. Though if you had a helpful solution like. ‘Hey my cousin does body work and painting.  I can probably get you a discount.  Let me call and check it out.’

Can you imagine what our world would be like if we talked and found out the person’s situation before jumping to conclusions.  And then helping to come up with solutions. That is the world I think God would be very proud of.

Tell me what this verse means to you.