When righteous people prosper, a city is glad.
When wicked people die, there are songs of joy.
With the blessing of decent people a city is raised up,
but by the words of wicked people, it is torn down.
A person who despises a neighbor has no sense,
but a person who has understanding keeps quiet.
Whoever gossips gives away secrets,
but whoever is trustworthy in spirit can keep a secret.
A nation will fall when there is no direction,
but with many advisers there is victory. (Proverbs 11:10-14 GW)
(Context—Proverbs 11:1-19 GW)
When I hear people complain about the government, I think of the many places I've traveled to and when we lived overseas for 15 years. I know from experience these complaints are short-sighted with a narrow focus.
It doesn't matter where a person's convictions fall on the political spectrum—we all tend to judge things based on our personal view of things, through the lens of our biases and opinions.
No government is perfect because they're made of people and none of us are perfect. But some governments provide more safety and stability than others. A few afford freedoms and opportunities not commonly found elsewhere.
Living and traveling overseas will likely give a person a clearer perspective on all of this unless their eyes are shut—blinded by arrogance, indifference, and prejudice.
As an observer of history and people, I've gained some perspective over the years. Things aren't nearly as dire as some would have you believe nor as wonderful as others might say. I've learned to be thankful and prayerful.
I'm thankful for the Lord's kindness and provision, for the place and time in history I was born into and live, and thankful for the truth and wisdom God gave me that brings clarity and perspective.
I'm prayerful for my nation and for leaders to have integrity. When people of integrity lead a nation it opens the door for prosperity beyond economics—a prosperity not defined by wealth but more of a sense of favor and well-being.
That's what I think of when I read these verses in Proverbs. I know that people of integrity—people of character—who lead in various levels of government—local, regional, or national—are a blessing to their communities and spheres of influence.
I know there's a great need for people of integrity to be raised up in civic, business, and spiritual arenas. When people of integrity lead—that is, people of "understanding" who are "trustworthy in spirit"— there is joy, gladness, and a prosperity of well-being.
The next time you find yourself complaining about the government or leaders in any other sector of life, take some time to be thankful and pray for integrity instead. It will help adjust your perspective and help you to see God's blessings and help you to become a blessing.
I believe this is why the prophet Daniel had such great favor with the emperors he served under (Daniel 2:46-49; 6:28) and why the apostles Paul and Peter exhort us to pray for those in positions of authority (Rom 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17).
These men knew what it was like to live under tyranny and oppression. They had an eternal perspective and were thankful, prayerful men of God.
We're told that when the righteous—people of integrity—are leaders, it's a blessing to everyone and brings honor to a city, even a nation.
Pray for leaders with integrity to be raised up in all spheres of government and influence—including local and national, civic, business, and spiritual leaders. And as you pray, be thankful!
Would you like a free study guide for Proverbs?