Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity– Proverbs 19:1
than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.
It is never okay to sacrifice our integrity on the altar of wealth. The bountiful blessings that come from living a life of honesty are like a farmer planting corn. We have to wait for the value to become apparent. Once our integrity has “ripened,” God’s blessings will overflow into our lives. It will be evident to people that God has flooded us with His good favor.
There was a time in my life when I struggled with God. I owned a business, and we were getting by, but it was a daily struggle to ensure that I had the money to pay my employees. On one specific day, I drove by one of my suppliers. I knew the man that owned the company because I had used his service for many years. He was a crude, raunchy person but ran a good business and had fair prices.
As I drove by his company, I got angry at God. I spoke to Him and said, “Look at his guy. This ungodly man is prospering while my company barely makes it from payroll to payroll.” Thankfully, God loves us. And He is strong. He can take our anger when we need to vent. He did that for me that day.
Proverbs 19:1 framed my condition. God was included in every aspect of my company. I can confidently say that God was the CEO, and He employed me. Yet, all I could see were crooks and fools becoming wealthy.
It took a while, but I accepted God’s promise, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”– Romans 8:28
So, I now understand that some of God’s people are poor and some are wealthy. Yet all of us must obey God and walk with integrity; to be honest in all things. Sometimes it is costly for us to walk in Godly integrity; nevertheless, there is no other way that enables us to be free from the bondage that comes from people that are crooks and fools.
Proverbs 19:1 reminds me of the passage in God’s Word where Jesus commented on how the kingdom of God works:
24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:24–26
The New Testament does not use financial wealth as a litmus test for godliness. What is essential is to be honest in all that we do.
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