“The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way aright, But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, But the unfaithful will be caught by their lust.” (Proverbs 11:5-6 NKJV)
Sometimes I think Proverbs are what Steven Wright would come up with if he were to write a serious book on living in today’s world. (Look him up if you don’t know his humor.) The commentary on life is short and pithy and once said, there’ no elaboration, the author, mostly Solomon, goes on to the next subject. In these two verses we see righteousness and wickedness contrasted. The person who lives in righteousness will take the right path because that’s in their nature. A wicked person will fall into trouble because that’s they way their own thoughts and deeds will lead them. When a person is righteous, they will do the right thing. As Christians we know that our righteousness isn’t found in our “good lives,” but is found in our relationship with God. We live the right way not because we’re afraid that God will zap us if we do wrong, but because we want to please God. Those who are wicked, with wickedness being defined as someone who is not in a righteous relationship with God, the second verse uses the term “unfaithful,” will run into trouble because they’re following their own way without any thought of God’s plan. While Proverbs is closer to a reflection on life’s experiences than a command about how to live, or a step by step process for success, and the words don’t apply to every wicked/righteous person in these two verses, the provide a general outline to what happens in life. As you read through them, it’s a great opportunity to think about your relationship with God.
How are things going? If things always go wrong for you, it doesn’t mean that you’re a wicked person, but it does mean that you need to cling to God even more closely than you already have been. If everything’s going right, it doesn’t mean that you’re a righteous person, but you do need to thank God for His blessings. We should always examine ourselves to make sure that our hearts, thoughts, and actions are in line with God’s desire for our lives. In the long run, we’ll experience a more joy-filled life no matter what happens.
Lord, use the events of life to teach me Your ways. Guide me in Your righteousness and direct my paths so that I’ll always stay true to Your plan for me.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.