Written By Tony and Lisa Gahimer
Proverbs 22 starts by saying that it is better to be a good person showing that we are believers in the Lord through our daily actions and words than it is to obtain material goods. We are reminded how God is ruler over the rich and the poor (vs 2) and does not favor one over the other. To show Gods wisdom in our daily lives we need to be humble and show love to the rich and poor alike.
It says in verse 7 that the rich rule over the poor and the borrower is servant to the lender. As we go through life we get caught up in wanting worldly possessions. Sometimes we put gaining those possessions above how we treat others. This verse reminds us that as long as we are in debt that we will be a servant to that debt when we should be focusing on being servants to the Lord. Verses 22 & 23 remind us that the Lord will defend those that are treated unfairly and we will be held accountable for exploiting others for our personal gain.
I wonder why, we as humans, think that if we have this or that we will be better off in life. In reality we are just setting ourselves up for being a slave to something that ultimately doesn't even matter. Verses 26-27: “Do not be a man who strikes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts; if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you.” This also warn us of how we should not put our desire to have material goods above our means to pay for them.
Verse 11 says it all - “He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.” Wow that really is simple! We just need to focus on letting our words and actions show that we believe and love the Lord. We cannot be concerned with what others think of us, but what our God and Lord Jesus thinks of us!
SAYINGS OF THE WISE
“Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise: apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips. So that your trust may be in the Lord, I teach you today, even you.” - Proverbs 22:17-19
These verses tell us that we are to be ready to answer when asked. This means having God's words memorized in your heart to be able to give a wise answer. Sometimes we don't want to give the wise answer because we don't want to hurt others or we don't want to appear different. God is saying to apply his teaching that he has given to us and we should allow that teaching to overflow to others around us.
We should also be careful of the company we keep. Verses 24-25 “Do not make friends with a hot tempered man, do not associate with one who is easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.” It is easy for us as humans to get caught up in the behaviors of others and the desire to fit in. It is natural human behavior to want to fit in especially with people that we consider to be our friends. We do not have to give up our friends, we just have to stay true to behaving in ways what we know our Lord Jesus deems appropriate.
If you cannot be a Godly example around those friends, and you resort to their un-godly behaviors when you are with them, you need to cut that friendship off. It will become toxic.