Lord, You are a God of justice, and in the end those who walk in Your ways will receive the good of their obedience.
Read Proverbs 11:1-31
 The LORD detests dishonest scales, but accurate weights find favor with him.  When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.  The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.  Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.  The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight, but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness.  The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires.  Hopes placed in mortals die with them; all the promise of their power comes to nothing.  The righteous person is rescued from trouble, and it falls on the wicked instead.  With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors, but through knowledge the righteous escape.  When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.  Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.  Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense, but the one who has understanding holds their tongue.  A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.  For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.  Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer, but whoever refuses to shake hands in pledge is safe.  A kindhearted woman gains honor, but ruthless men gain only wealth.  Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.  A wicked person earns deceptive wages, but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.  Truly the righteous attain life, but whoever pursues evil finds death.  The LORD detests those whose hearts are perverse, but he delights in those whose ways are blameless.  Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free.  Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.  The desire of the righteous ends only in good, but the hope of the wicked only in wrath.  One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.  A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.  People curse the one who hoards grain, but they pray God’s blessing on the one who is willing to sell.  Whoever seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to one who searches for it.  Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.  Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise.  The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and the one who is wise saves lives.  If the righteous receive their due on earth, how much more the ungodly and the sinner! Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat are some contrasts between the wise and the fool?
The “fools” derided in Proverbs are not mentally deficient but morally bankrupt. They bring trouble on their family (29). Their perversity is corrosive to any community, unleashing dishonesty (1), duplicity (3), and verbal assaults on others (9,11-13). In contrast, the righteous are people of integrity (3), generosity (24,25), and kindness (15,16).In many countries today, churches and charities are under increasing scrutiny to show that they deliver public benefit. One of the unseen benefits that personal faith should produce is a holistic lifestyle that blesses the wider community (10,11). Such people are different because they are wise (9,12), trustworthy, and full of God’s life (13,19,20). Of course, the Bible recognizes that things are not always so straightforward in this life–we only need to remember Job. So we need to see the stark contrasts in this chapter from the perspective of coming judgment (7,21,31). And in that light the whole world needs people who are like “a tree of life” through whom the life of God flows. Then foolish and wicked souls may be won back to God (30).
Integrity exists when the unseen reality matches the seen and the heart is toward God. Do you need more integrity?
Father, help me walk in integrity, generosity, and kindness. Help me to live in righteousness.
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