The Poor and the Wealthy

Proverbs 19:1–7 (NKJV)

19:1 Better is the poor who walks in his integrity Than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.  2 Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge, And he sins who hastens with his feet.  3 The foolishness of a man twists his way, And his heart frets against the Lord.  4 Wealth makes many friends, But the poor is separated from his friend.  5 A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who speaks lies will not escape.  6 Many entreat the favor of the nobility, And every man is a friend to one who gives gifts.  7 All the brothers of the poor hate him; How much more do his friends go far from him! He may pursue them with words, yet they abandon him.

This passage looks at many aspects of being poor and being wealthy.  On the one hand, poor people may not have many friends, or even be hated because they have nothing to give.  Nobility–or the wealthy–have lots of attention and friends, but it may be because they have gifts to give.  In the middle of this discussion, it is noted that the liar will be punished, and that foolishness will twist one’s way.  It is also said that it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge.

All of this is summed up in the verse represented in the image featured with this blog.  Even though rich people have friends, and those who give gifts are popular, it is still better to be poor and have integrity, than to have all the riches you can handle, and be perverse in your speaking and foolish in your actions.  All the friends you can find will not save you from the ruin that foolishness and folly will bring.  So, the next time you feel a bit lonely, take stock of your lifestyle.  Integrity without riches is better, but whatever you do, maintain your integrity!

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