Monday, June 20, 2016 - Proverbs 11
- God detests dishonest business (v.1). God detests dishonest business, such as when a merchant has two weights in his bag, one heavy and one light. Old Testament prophets frequently talked about God’s anger when a business wasn’t delivering what people paid for (Amos 8:5; Hosea 12:7). Dishonest business brings chaos to society. This also applies to dishonesty in manufacturing cheap inferior products, selling defective goods, misleading labeling, false advertising and hidden costs.
- While wealth seems important now, when we die all that matters is righteousness. How we lived is more important than what we had (v. 4). On the day of judgment it is not the size of my bank account that God examines but the righteousness of my life. The opportunity to make right choices is available to everyone no matter what their financial portfolio.
- If you are a good leader, people will be happy to have you in power. If you are a bad leader, people will be happy to see you leave power (v. 10). This is a great challenge for all leaders. The integrity of one’s leadership has a powerful influence on everyone under them. If you are dishonest, they will feel your corruption and want you to leave. If you are honest, they will be encouraged by your leadership and want you to stay. A great example of this comes from our government (We also see it in Old Testament kings — 2 Chronicles 21:20). If a corrupt leader is in power, everyone suffers. If an honest leader is in power, everyone under them is blessed.
- There is a time to keep your mouth shut and not say what you are thinking (vv. 12-13). When we get angry it is easy to give someone a piece of our minds and let them know what we think of them. Venting our thoughts in anger is unlikely to change the person that hurt us. If anything, they will lose respect for us and lose the willingness to listen. When you are angry, it is better to leave things unsaid, cool down, think things through and talk about them calmly.
- Before you make an important decision, seek the counsel of others you respect (v. 14). The longer I work in the church, the more I value my Elder and Leadership Boards. Hearing their wise counsel always helps me make better decisions. Just as it is good to hear the wisdom of others in church leadership, it is wise to seek the wisdom of those we respect when we have to make important personal decisions in our lives.
- Beauty needs to be more than skin deep (v. 22). This is one of my favorite proverbs. The picture of a gold ring in a pig’s nose is one that won’t leave your mind. A beautiful woman whose beauty is only skin deep and doesn’t extend into her character makes her detestable. As 1 Peter 3:1-5 reminds us, a truly beautiful woman gets her beauty from her character, not Mary Kay.
- God gives to the giver but withholds from the miser (v. 24). Numerous parts of the Bible talk about this unexpected paradox (2 Corinthians 9). If we are generous with our resources, God will provide for our needs and enable us to give more. if we are miserly scrooges, we will suffer want. Be generous and trust God to provide for your needs.