The Tree of Life

Two things God detests: dishonest scales and perverse hearts. From Proverbs 11 we find a continuation of the predominantly antithetical (“but”) proverbs–those urging us toward balance and integrity over things like our words and speech, and our use of money.

There is a lot about motive–what drives our tree of life meaning acts and omissions–in this chapter, and a lot about results for both moral and immoral modes of operation in life. The following is rather fitting as a summary verse:

“Whoever seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to those who search for it” -Proverbs 11:27 (TNIV). God gives us what we strive for in life, wisdom or folly. Recently I saw some youth acting up in a public toilet, bent on destruction, though not in the physical act. Their folly will eventually find them the evil they seek. I hoped for some sort of moral intervention for these three young guys to set them on the right path.

On Words

We’re told to keep confidences and not to belittle our neighbours (vs. 13 and 12). We’re also great ambassadors for those we represent when we speak appropriately (v. 11). In our words and speech we have opportunities at kindness.

On Kindness Regarding Wealth

Verses 15-19 and 24-28 speak intrinsically about the use of knowledge that our money is not really ours; we are merely stewards of money and resources, channelling them to the appropriate areas and people. The more we make this real in life, the more we’ll see God truly at work.

Riches are deceptive. Much can be learned regarding the nature of the rich and their riches in Proverbs. Give everyone three generations (about eighty years) without sustained moral intent and that’s all it takes for God to show, over and again, the cycle that inevitably appears–rags to riches to rags again.

The best way to get rich and stay rich is, ironically, to give away money and material things. What we sow we tend to reap, and that, with interest.