(Proverbs 19:1 KJV) Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.
What does it mean to be “better” (2896a)? Is it referring to the quality of the person or their standing compared to others? It is a very common Hebrew word in Proverbs. Just in this book it is used 62 times. It would seem to be an important concept.
The basic definition is “pleasant, agreeable, good”. For today I want to consider this as a personal quality, something within ourselves. Solomon gives us two insights. First, “poor” (7326) people can be good. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that lack of money says something about the moral fiber of a person. It is possible for lack of morals to create poverty but it is not necessarily the cause.
Second, the good are those who demonstrate “integrity” (8537). For evil to be absent, integrity must be present. Thus, when you see someone in public life being dishonest in any way that tells you something about what is inside.
So? I need to make sure that I measure up in my behavior. People watch the choices I make and the shortcuts I accept.