Proverbs 19 has Solomon beginning with a verse about integrity. “Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool”. Integrity is always doing the right thing, even when no one else is looking. It is core to living a life pleasing to the Lord. It is an outcome of fearing the Lord and knowing that He is watching our every step. “The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm”. Integrity is a value we need to hold close.
He goes on to talk about the impact of money on relationships. Being one of the wealthiest men of his day, this is probably some firsthand experience in his patch. “Many seek the favor of a generous man, and everyone is a friend to a man who gives gifts”. Everyone wants to be your friend if they think they can get something from you, particularly for nothing. But that obviously is not friendship. What is far more important is keeping God’s commands. “Whoever keeps the commandment keeps his life; he who despises his ways will die”. That is what we should pursue.
Solomon includes a few more verses on families and the importance of having the right relationships within them. “A foolish son is ruin to his father, and a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain. House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord”. Proverbs talks about the impact of a son on his parents. Often, kids are a reflection of their environment and paint a picture of the reality that is the home. It should not be a place of quarrel and contention, but one of joy and happiness. God is the source of that and a great home is a joy to all.
We are reminded once again that God is in control. “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand”. As importance as planning is to achieving success in life and business, the more important focus needs to be on alignment with God’s purpose and plan for our life. We can scheme all sorts of things, but on our own, we will fall short. God alone will lead us to success. The foundation of our planning needs to be a realization that God drives the bus, and we are riding along with Him. “Cease to hear instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge”. If we don’t get into God’s Word to know His truth and ways, we’ll miss the mark and end up focused on the wrong things. God has the master plan. We need to seek His way!