Proverbs 21:1-10

1The heart of a king is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.

2Every way of a man seems right in his eyes, but the LORD weighs the hearts.

3To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

4Haughty eyes and a proud heart—the lamp of wickedness—is sin.

5The plans of the diligent surely lead to abundance, but those who are hasty will surely come to want.

6The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor; a snare of death.

7The violence of the wicked will sweep them away, because they refuse to do what is just.

8The way of a guilty man is crooked, but the conduct of the pure is upright.

9It is better to dwell in the corner of a rooftop than in a shared house with a contentious wife.

10The soul of the wicked desires evil; his neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.

God ordains people in leadership and guides them (1). Man simply doesn’t have the perspective to appropriate judge his own way; only God can do that correctly (2). Religious ritual is meaningless without action (3). Pride is sin (4). The diligent take slow; they don’t get in a hurry (5). Having integrity in your personal finances is very important (6). The wicked tend to get what they deserve over time (7). Guilty people tend to act guilty, and upright people tend to act uprightly (8). A contentious wife can be unbearable (9). Wickedness is selfishness (10).

Being diligent and upright requires patience, deliberation, and an attention to the “other.” The very heart of pride is selfishness, so an upright person will act the direct opposite. In paying attention to the needs of others, we are engaged in proper religion.

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