A Warning Against Stereotyping

Today’s reading: Proverbs 28:1-30:33

My selection: Proverbs 28:6

Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity

than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.

My reflections: There are numerous proverbs which mention wise men and fools, honest men and wicked men, and rich men and poor men. It is important to note that the wise and honest are not always rich nor are they always poor. The fool and the evil man may be either wealthy or needy.

There is always a danger of oversimplifying these categories and lumping the poor with the sluggard or the wealthy with the diligent. A poor man may be wise (28:11). A rich man may be a sluggard (28:19). However, the wise, poor man and the foolish, rich man will probably not remain poor or rich for long, but they will eventually switch places as far as material assets are concerned.

It is erroneous to see all the poor as oppressed or all the rich as wise and diligent. Beware of the stereotypes. Beware of neglecting those who are truly needy or despising and overtaxing those who have worked hard to wisely build wealth.

My challenge: If you are wealthy, pray that God would give you wisdom to identify those who deserve help and grace to be generous with them. If you are needy, pray that God would give you grace and strength to be as wise and diligent as possible in your circumstances and that He would providentially meet all of your needs.

Tomorrow’s reading: Proverbs 31:1-Ecclesiastes 2:26

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