(Proverbs 28:6 KJV) Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.
This statement would be laughable to most of our society. “Uprightness” (integrity NASB) (8537) more important than wealth? What kind of joke is this? And yet it is a recurring theme in Proverbs.
This is not praise for the “poor” (7326). It is not an attack on the “rich” (6223). It is not a conflict between rich and poor. Don’t fall into that trap. It is a contrast between integrity and materialism. The best would be to be rich and have integrity.
It is not so much that the rich are always “perverse” (crooked NASB) (6141/1870). It is more the reality that people with wealth and power are more free to exhibit their natural tendencies than the poor. They do not need to worry so much about what people think. They also have the leisure to pursue perverted pastimes.
Wealth tends to breed an attitude of independence. We begin to feel secure and change our attitudes and behaviors. Why is it uncommon for a championship term to repeat? They relax a little and other teams strive harder. It is natural for us to forget our need for God’s grace when things are going well.
So? Try to remember that our security is not found in our bank balance or a government program. Out ultimate, and immediate, security comes from God. As I write this the country is having serious economic problems. Millions are out of work. The real tragedy is that our moral status is even worse. Spiritual poverty will never trump material prosperity.