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Proverbs 19:1

Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.

Would you rather have riches and be a bit dishonest…or be poor but a person of high integrity? We all know what the Sunday school answer is, but do we actually seek to live that out? How much does financial success mean to you versus your walk with the Lord? Are you willing to compromise your integrity to “get ahead”? God places far more value on how we live than on how much we accumulate.

Living in America has a list of benefits that most of us Americans rarely take the time to study and creates – despite its many flaws – a remarkable financial opportunity for most of us. And while Solomon does not include a “rich” person on the opposite side of this proverb, in our American context it is usually implied. Does the person of high integrity usually reach the top of the heap in American life? Increasingly, the culture would say NO – the nice guy usually finishes last. But does he?

Advertisers thrive on our desire for more – not on some religious notion of being a person of high integrity and morality. The bible, however, does just the opposite. Christ calls on his followers to deny themselves – not to indulge themselves (Mth. 16:24). Christ calls on his followers to seek the things of the Kingdom of God rather than the things of the world (Mth. 6:33). Christ calls on his followers to always do His will rather than their own, which certainly calls them – us – to a life of moral integrity (Mth. 7:21). If we seek to do life on our own terms, seeking our own desires, the world will cheer us on, but in the end, it will lead to destruction (Pr. 14:12).

Nabal was a successful man with great riches and a beautiful wife, but he was a fool and lacked integrity (1 Sam. 25). David was the most wanted man in Israel and running for his life, living in the woods and fields with the sheep. Which man would you want to be? God turned Nabal into stone for ten days and then he died – all because of his lack of integrity and foolish speech. David was protected by God and eventually put on the King’s throne. One sold his soul to the devil, and the other walked with God. Which one are you?


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