Scripture Reading: Proverbs 19:1, 22, 2-3, 8, 16, 20
“Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.” (Proverbs 19:1)
“The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is better than a liar.” (Proverbs 19:22)
Integrity! Where is it? Even while I write this I have been travelling in countries where the people don’t realize what liars they really are. Almost every word, every promise, everything they say, is a lie. It is a lifestyle — and the poor are as guilty as the rich.
But if it were possible to choose between being a poor man, who is honest and whom everyone can trust, or being a liar, who fools himself into thinking he can lie as much a he wants and get away with it, I would think that most would choose to be the poor, honest man.
Every time a man tells a lie or is dishonest in his dealings, he smears his soul with a black mark that is permanent. Only deep repentance and the Blood of Jesus can remove it.
The person who is not honest with others is not honest with himself either. He feeds his soul lies and deception. Every word, every untruth, every dishonest deed scars his soul.
“Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth.” (Proverbs 19:2)
We need to nourish our souls with the Word of God, with truth, with love for others, and with prayer. Don’t spend your life working, working, working. Take time to feed your soul.
“The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD.” (Proverbs 19:3)
The heart of man is deceitful and prone to wickedness. It always wants to lead him away from God. It frets, schemes, and devices many plans that are against the holiness of God. Don’t trust your heart! It will try to convince your soul that “sin is all right — oh, not all sin, but the thing you want to do is perfectly all right!” That is the devil’s lie. Don’t believe him!
Compare what your heart tells you with what the Bible tells you and do what the Bible says, and you will be safe.
“He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good.” (Proverbs 19:8)
If you love your soul, you will nourish and feed it with the Word of God. There are many anointed books which God has given through His scribes. Read them! They will bless and minister to your soul. Even this devotional on the Proverbs can help you to understand the heart of God and what He desires that His children should be! And it must be possible, or He would not have included the Proverbs in the Inspired Word of God. He says to us all (as He did to Joshua), “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Joshua 1:8).
“He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that despiseth his ways shall die. ”
Not only do you bless your soul when you observe and keep His Commandments, you spare your soul the punishment that comes with disobedience. God warns: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20).
The wages (punishment) for sin is death — even eternal separation from God — which is so terrible that none of us can begin to comprehend it.
“Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.” (Proverbs 19:20)
Have you noticed how elderly people often “mellow” with age? It is because they have grown wiser. God has polished their rough edges. They are sweeter, more humble, more patient; and many are freed from losing their quick temper. This is beautiful to see.
A friend of mine used to say, “I don’t mind growing old, so long as I grow sweeter with old age.”
May we all have this desire! There is nothing so sad as an old person who still is grumpy, always complaining and controlled by evil habits.
Gems of Wisdom by Gwen Shaw
Available from our webstore: