Today, we begin our weekly Tuesday reading of the chapters in Proverbs which look more like what we would expect from the book. Chapter 10 has 32 verses; but for today, this blog will look closer at just three that deal with integrity and love. For tips on getting the most out of Proverbs, see this previous post.
“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.” (Proverbs 10:9)
If we consistently try to do the right thing in all situations, refusing to compromise on truth, honor, and good will toward others, it fosters a peace within us. When we know that our intentions are pure, our conscience gives us serenity. We know that we will bring no justifiable harm upon ourselves because of our own actions, nor will we be as likely to bring others to harm. But, as 1 Timothy 5:25-26 agrees, those who scheme and connive, who try to hide their corrupt actions and their deceitful heart cannot keep such a secret forever. How many times in the last few years have we known of someone, famous or not so famous, whose scandalous behavior over a period of years finally came out? The shame they brought upon themselves was bad enough, but what about the people close to them that were hurt? Integrity matters – to God, and to us.
“Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.” (Proverbs 10:12)
“The one who conceals hatred has lying lips, and whoever utters slander is a fool.” (Proverbs 10:18)
It is easy to move many people to discord, gossip, and to be hurtful to one another by our own hateful thoughts, words, or actions. Sometimes people do so without realizing they are doing wrong. It is a matter of the heart; and the cure is love. James 5:20 and 1 Peter 4:8 repeat that “love covers a multitude of sins.” When we seek to think of, and to do good to, others in a manner that shows we truly care about them, that love affects us as well. The reason that “love covers all offenses” is that it changes us – our hearts, our minds, and our lives. It makes us better and happier men and women. It was this wisdom that Jesus was trying to convey when he said that loving your neighbor was the second greatest commandment in Matthew 22:37-39.
The first part of verse 18 makes it clear that it is not enough to just hide ones hatred for someone and keep ones mouth shut about it. Your words then betray you and make you worse than a mere hater, because you become a liar as well. The change must come from within the heart. The second part of the verse (“whoever utters slander is a fool”) ties the two verses together. The answer is not to just “let it all out” and speak ill of those for whom you hold ill will, for by doing so, you harm them as well as yourself.
Wisdom demands that we examine our own thoughts and actions, and let the Lord speak to us through His word, helping us to shape our lives and our hearts. What can we do this week to show someone we care about them?
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Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com. For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.