As the old adage goes: "There's nothing new under the sun." This proclamation is, in fact, based on scripture. Ecclesiastes 1:9 reads: "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun."
There are two things worth noting here: The Bible is stunningly timeless — and human nature hasn't really changed. Don't believe me? Just consider that the things Solomon wrote about in Proverbs 11 are still totally and utterly applicable today, nearly 3,000 years later.
From mistruths and pride to unfaithfulness, gossiping and the mistreatment of others, humans are still dealing with our fallen nature.
Luckily, we have an excellent guide from which to operate (i.e. the Bible).
Proverbs 11 is, in fact, one of the most sweeping chapters in terms of the moral scope of what's covered. Solomon opens with a discussion about truth, pride and integrity. Verses 1-3 read:
"The Lord detests dishonest scales, but accurate weights find favor with him. When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity."
The message is simple: keep our eyes on the prize, follow God's path and keep ourselves in check. Wealth and goodness are also addressed, with the text proclaiming that money is of no worth "in the day of wrath" and that "righteousness" is what really matters.
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And Solomon doesn't stop there. He also notes the importance of generosity. Verse 25 reads:
"A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed."
Beyond that, Solomon reminds us of the importance of watching what comes out of our mouths — an important lesson that I need from time to time.
He writes that anyone who "derides their neighbor has no sense" and that "the one who has understanding holds their tongue." Gossip, too, is frowned upon. Some of us are probably reading this with some guilt, but it's never too late to be better.
The struggle is real, but let's remember: Solomon wrote these words nearly three millennia ago. People were just as messed up, disconnected and dysfunctional back then as they are now. Our circumstances have changed, but our nature is the same.
Truth. Goodness. Kindness. Generosity. Humility. These are values to aspire to. How are you measuring up? Personally, I know I've got some work to do.
Be sure to also check out my quick devotions and reflections on Proverbs 1, Proverbs 2, Proverbs 3, Proverbs 4, Proverbs 5, Proverbs 6, Proverbs 7, Proverbs 8, Proverbs 9 and Proverbs 10. And...curious about what all this means? Looking to better understand who God is? Take the next step.
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