Reading the Word
“Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.” (Proverbs 28:6, ESV)
Understanding and Applying the Word
We live in a results-oriented society. We want specific outcomes. How we get those results is secondary. Or, more specifically, we want people in place who get results and we do not care what kind of people they are. Today’s proverb corrects this way of thinking. End results are not the most important thing. Character is more important. A poor man with integrity is better than a rich person whose ways are crooked. The rich man got the results (wealth), but the poor man had integrity (character).
When the people of Israel requested that Saul be their king, God told Samuel to do what the people requested, but not to be impressed with Saul as the people were “because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). God is concerned more with the character of a person than their outward appearance, including the external results they might produce. We should seek to be people of integrity and to value the same in others.
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