Proverbs 11-12 (NLT link)
Discover His heart: He delights in our honesty and humility, and He rewards them with wisdom
A day at the Minnesota State Fair was always one of the highlights of my year when I was young. Where else can you get fried cheese curds, sugary Tom Thumb donuts and food on a stick? Yum! My dad always walked us through the Midway where the rides whirled over our heads and hucksters barked and called to him to take a chance at winning the big prize. I wanted that big prize, the big cuddly stuffed something, but he always just kept walking, eyes focused straight ahead.
When I asked him one time why he wouldn’t stop and try to win a prize for me, he said that the games were crooked, the balls were weighted and the chances were slim – they couldn’t be trusted. I never viewed the Midway and its hucksters the same way again. Since then I’ve walked through many midways in life, and I’ve tried to keep my focus straight ahead with added determination for my own life to never be described as one that could not be trusted. Thanks, dad!
@ Proverbs 11
“The Lord detests the use of dishonest scales, but He delights in accurate weights. Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Honesty guides good people.” (1-3) Solomon addressed the problem of dishonest scales several times in Proverbs, where the weighing of foods and goods was common business practice and where heavy thumbs and hidden weights were tools used to cheat buyers. Dishonest business practices still prevail today, but of course the methods are much more sophisticated and elaborate. Why do people cheat each other?
It’s interesting that Solomon slips this little statement about pride in between two verses on honesty, “Pride leads to disgrace.” When we feel that our gain and our advancement are more vital than that of someone else to the point of dishonesty, it is because we regard ourselves as better and more important. The definition of pride: a haughty attitude shown by somebody who believes that he or she is better than others. Ouch!
Clearly, pride throws the Golden Rule right out the window. But, “…with humility comes wisdom.” Humility: the quality of being modest, respectful and meek. Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5, NIV) Now that’s quite an inheritance! A prideful heart seeks to bless itself while a heart of humility is blessed by the Lord.
Whenever my motivation in any transaction or exchange, whether financial, relational or really anything is to bless me at an expense or loss to someone else, it’s time for me to evaluate that motivation. The incredible One-day Sale at Macy’s where sale prices almost seem like stealing? Acceptable! Cheating the sales clerk, the tax collector, my spouse or a customer? Not good. I don’t ever want to be like the dishonest huckster who cannot be trusted.
“Honesty guides good people.” Honesty is a valuable guide through the midways of life. It is humble, reliable, timeless, easy to remember…and it’s trustworthy! So in light of these scriptures, the right way to gain or advance in life is to treat others in the way we like to be treated, with humility and respect, and we can be certain that honesty will come right alongside and help us do it. Our efforts will be blessed with wisdom and a rich inheritance!
Moving Forward: Honest guidance today from the Golden Rule, “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.” (Matthew 7:12) I can’t go wrong.
Tomorrow @ Ezekiel 31-36