Integrity, Poverty, And Faith

Proverbs 19:1 Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.

Some proverbs teach the general principle that hard work can tend toward prosperity, or financial security. Other proverbs teach integrity and wisdom can lead the same direction. I am not meaning by these statements I think God wants us healthy, wealthy, and happy. I am just acknowledging the scriptures do make general connections between hard honest work, and financial security.

But then there are proverbs like 19:1 which tell us honesty and integrity of speech sometimes lead to poverty. The encouragement from this text is a reminder. It is better to maintain honesty and truthfulness in business rather than crookedness and lies; even if it leads to poverty. The man who chooses to tell the truth with his business partners, and gets fired because of it, is better off than the man who participates in the lies and prospers in his bank account.

James 2:5 Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?

James reminds us the important thing for us to be rich in is faith. Those who place their faith in Jesus become heirs of God’s eternal kingdom. And better is a poor person who walks in his integrity by faith, then those who are crooked in speech and have no inheritance after death.

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