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Proverbs 13:5

THE DIFFERENCE

September 28, 2022

“You won’t find me in church! There are too many hypocrites there. So, why should I go? Hypocrites are no better than I am. So, why bother?” Those of us who invite others to church have heard that phrase at one time or another. Most of us, however, don’t go to church because we are hypocrites. We go to church because we’re trying not be one.

Many have “lists” that identify personal differences between being a hypocrite or not being one. For most of us it is a “personal thing.” We use our list to judge ourselves against others. So, our list is always correct, no matter what! We become God’s standard!

However, it was Solomon who established the difference between being righteous and wicked. He removed any doubt that we might have: “Righteousness,” he wrote, “guards the man of integrity, but wickedness overthrows the sinner.”

If we love God, we will love what He loves and hate what He hates. Nothing complicated there. So, if God loves truth and honesty, pure living and obedience to His Word, the righteous will, too. But more than embrace what is righteous, we will avoid what is evil by guarding ourselves against it. Righteousness does not mean Christians live passive lives, but are active in being and doing whatever it takes to avoid behaviors that God hates.

“Wickedness” in Scripture has an interesting meaning. It refers to “being deceptive to the point where the wicked act disgracefully and their behavior causes a ‘stink.’” They see no reason to be concerned about what they are doing, understanding that what they do will finally bring “disaster” to them. God will not allow the wicked or wickedness to prevail!

Prayer: Father, give us courage to stand against that which is evil and harms others. Empower us to do what it right and honorable, just and fair! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: The godly hate lies; the wicked cause shame and disgrace. Proverbs 13:5

“You won’t find me in church! There are too many hypocrites that fill the pews. So, why should I go? They are no better than I am.” Most of us who do go to church have heard that phrase at one time or another. Most of us, however, don’t go to church because we are hypocrites, it’s because we’d rather not be one.

Most of us have a “check list” that lays out our personal differences between being a hypocrite not being one. For most of us it is a “personal thing.” We want our own definition to judge ourselves against others.

But, Solomon established the difference between being righteous and wicked. He removes any doubt for us: “Righteousness guards the man of integrity, but wickedness overthrows the sinner.”

If we love God, we will love what He loves and hate what He hates. Nothing complicated there. So, if God loves truth and honesty, pure living and obedience to His law, the righteous will, too. But, more than embrace what is righteous, they will avoid what is evil by guarding themselves against it. Righteousness does not mean Christians are passive, but active - involved in whatever it takes to avoid contact with behaviors God hates.

“Wickedness” here has an interesting meaning. It refers to “being deceptive to the point where the wicked act disgracefully and their behavior causes a ‘stink.’”' They see no reason to be concerned about what they are doing - but what they do will finally bring “disaster” - they will be overthrown. God will not allow wickedness to prevail!

Prayer:  Father, give us courage to take an obvious stand against that which is evil and do what it right! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Proverbs 13:5 The righteous hate what is false, but the wicked make themselves a stench and bring shame on themselves.