When Poverty is Better

“Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.”
(Prov. 19:1)

                I think everyone yearns for what we call “a better life.”  What does a better life look like?  It depends on who you ask.  If you ask magazines, TV commercials, and social media ads, they’ll tell you that a better life is a bigger home, a nicer car, and designer clothes.  They say it includes physical fitness, a large bank account, and the acclamation of others.  Yet, it’s entirely possible for a person to have all these things and still be “perverse in his lips” and foolish.  It takes more than money to fix a fool.

                If you look to the Bible for a definition of “better life,” you might be surprised to know that it has very little to do with cash, cars, and clothes.  Instead, it has much more to do with holiness and love.  A better life is probably best defined in Gal. 5:22-23 in what we call the fruit of the spirit – “love, joy, peace, etc.”.  In other words, the Bible’s definition of better living is a life of integrity.  You may not have much money in the bank, but if you live with integrity before God, then you are very rich indeed.

                Understand this – it’s better for you to be poor and holy than to be rich and wicked.  A person’s riches bring them great pleasure in this life, but what happens when this life ends?  Those material things that brought us so much joy on earth won’t do one thing for us in the hereafter.  Take comfort in this – you may not have everything you want, but if you have Jesus you’ve got everything you need.  Don’t worry about someone else’s possessions – concern yourself with your own integrity.

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