Way too many choices exist. It's overwhelming. People want options and choices, but nowadays we're faced with so many variables it's hard to make a choice!
"Numbers don't lie, people do." Numbers and stats can be manipulated to justify whatever someone is selling. Ponzi schemes like Bernie Madoff's remind us of this. And don't forget the executives who "cooked the books" at infamous Enron!
All this can make a person wary, and wonder if integrity can be found anywhere.
The Lord hates dishonest scales, but he is pleased with honest weights. Pride leads only to shame; it is wise to be humble. Good people will be guided by honesty; dishonesty will destroy those who are not trustworthy. [vss 1-3]
Riches will not help when it’s time to die, but right living will save you from death. The goodness of the innocent makes life easier, but the wicked will be destroyed by their wickedness. Doing right brings freedom to honest people, but those who are not trustworthy will be caught by their own desires. [vss 4-6]
When the wicked die, hope dies with them; their hope in riches will come to nothing. The good person is saved from trouble; it comes to the wicked instead. With words an evil person can destroy a neighbor, but a good person will escape by being resourceful. [vss 7-9]
When good people succeed, the city is happy. When evil people die, there are shouts of joy. Good people bless and build up their city, but the wicked can destroy it with their words. [vss 10-11]
(Proverbs 11:1-11 NCV) [Context– Proverbs 11]
The Lord hates dishonest scales, but he is pleased with honest weights.
- What does the Lord hate, and what pleases Him? How is this contrast seen in the remaining verses?
- What is said about people of good character? What seems to be the fate of the wicked and evil?
- How are honesty and goodness seen as valuable? Which is expressed as more valuable—wealth or honesty? Pride or humility?
- Why would a city be happy when those who are good succeed? Why do you think the death of evil people would bring shouts of joy?
Make it personal...
How has the dishonesty of others impacted you personally?
What are ways you've seen humility and honesty be beneficial?
How would you describe a person with integrity?
Do you think others see you as a person who is honest and humble?
It's easy to become cynical and have low expectations of government and big business. Likewise, unfaithfulness, greed, and authoritarian leaders breed mistrust towards all leadership.
How can this change? What can any one person do about it? Plenty, and it starts with you and me!
Each day, each of us has a choice. Will we follow the prevailing currents of culture, or choose to walk with integrity? The influence of honesty, humility, and integrity starts with each one of us.
We can choose to set a good and godly example—it's a commitment worth making.