Character Makes the Difference

Today was restful Monday. We had just a little snow over night; just enough to leave a good blanket of snow on the trees and add to the four inches or so of accumulation on the ground.

I did start working on my tax return for 2014. It will be nice when that process is over. In this week ahead I have my final session with my fitness trainer, an outpatient rehab appointment and a meeting in Denver at the end of the week.

I was later than usual in getting to the fitness center today. I tried walking on a treadmill. That was a new experience, but I got in my five minutes on the lowest speed possible. Perhaps I can begin to work that into my “markers of progress” as I move forward in my rehab.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… Rich people always think they are wise, but a poor person who has insight into character knows better.”  Proverbs 28:1

Some qualities of life don’t always go hand in hand. Rich people are not always wise, the poor don’t always lack insight. The Proverb above communicates that real wisdom involves insight into character. Success in life doesn’t always equate with making the right decisions and doing the right thing.

Proverbs contains some good advice and astute observations that we find applicable to life today. Proverbs does talk a lot about the “rich” and the “poor.” But the real issue is one of character and true wisdom.

For example,

  • “Better to be poor and honest than rich and dishonest.” Proverbs 28:6
  • “Be honest and you will be safe. If you are dishonest, you will suddenly fall.”  Proverbs 28:18
  •  A hard-working farmer has plenty to eat. People who waste time will always be poor.”  Proverbs 28:19
  • “Honest people will lead a full, happy life.…”  Proverbs 28:20
  • “Correct someone, and afterward he will appreciate it more than flattery.”  Proverbs 28:23

It is interesting that the these verses of Proverbs 28 that focus on character, the majority deal with the issue of “honesty.” Some synonyms for honesty would include, “integrity, morals, ethics, high principles, righteousness.”  There is always a temptation to “cut the corners” and “just get by.”

But we see that honesty will be rewarded in the long run, that it is a path that leads to safety and a full and happy life. Diligence and an openness to correction are also commended for those who would be wise. Using time wisely and effectively seem to be an ongoing challenge for all people in all times. The rich and the poor, the successful and those who fail all have the same hours of a day to use to their advantage.

Being open to correction is a trademark of wisdom we see in many proverbs. Solomon says, “correct a wise man and he will be wiser still.”  Proverbs 9:9 I like the honesty of Proverbs 28:20 when it says, “correct someone and afterward…..he will appreciate it…” How we handle correction is important and it is a challenge. Sometimes the words wound or hurt or make us angry before we take the time to process and appreciate the input from some one who cares enough to tell us the truth. Remember words of “correction” from a friend are different than “criticism” from an enemy.

I am thankful that the Lord’s desire is to work in us and transform us to not only experience a fulfilling life with Him, but to have favor, blessing and success in the world in which we live. When we follow the Lord’s guidelines they will enable us to honor God and gain the respect of others.