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The Wisdom to Say No


11:15: He who becomes security for an outsider shall smart for it, but he who hates suretyship is secure [from its penalties].


Suretyship means to co-sign for someone on a loan. It's a dangerous thing to obligate yourself to someone else's debt. The only way to be sure you won't end up paying that loan is not to sign for it in the first place. Have you ever stepped out into a dangerous place with the attitude that you're just going to trust the Lord for it all to work out and not worry about it?  Sometimes it works out O.K. But God has made His wisdom available to you so you don't have to walk blindly into situations. You can make decisions that are wise so you don't have to live recklessly. That's not to say God will never tell you to take a risk, but for the most part He'd like you to think like Him and detect dangerous situations ahead of time.




Generous Deeds


11:17: The merciful, kind, and generous man benefits himself [for his deeds return to bless him], but he who is cruel and callous [to the wants of others] brings on himself retribution.


Godly wisdom and diligence never leads to selfishness and stinginess.  There are many wealthy people with a very stingy attitude. There are many with a prideful attitude that have no compassion on those who are in want. Even though a person reaps what they sow and may be suffering the consequences of their own foolishness, God's way is still to be merciful and generous to others, and your deeds of kindness and generosity will come back to bless you as well!



A Sure & Satisfying Reward


11:18: The wicked man earns deceitful wages, but he who sows righteousness (moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation) shall have a sure reward [permanent and satisfying].


There is a security in earning honest wages. If your income comes from sinful behavior then there is no stability or satisfaction that will remain from it. Living according to God's Kingdom ways is the most satisfying and secure way to live. To sow righteousness in this verse means that you're living a righteous life in every area--on your job, with your family and in every way. When you live right then you'll have no guilt or torment concerning your wages and prosperity. You won't need to worry about the deeds of your past coming back to haunt you. You'll have a kind of security that is peaceful and satisfying.



The Right Trust


11:28: He who leans on, trusts in, and is confident in his riches shall fall, but the [uncompromisingly] righteous shall flourish like a green bough.


Money doesn't bring security. Only trusting in God brings security.  Many people have more faith in money then they do in God. A lot of people think if they just had a lot of money they could handle anything. They could live however they want and do whatever they want. However, money will let you down because money fails.  When you trust in it you become a slave to your own lust and fears. Only by trusting in God and His way can you have peace, contentment and the kind of prosperity that won't fail.



Grace for the Humble


12:9: Better is he who is lightly esteemed but works for his own support than he who assumes honor for himself and lacks bread.


There are those who like to present themselves as one who is worthy of respect when in reality they are lazy and poor. You've probably all met someone who is a smooth talker and even looks down on those who are working for an honest living at a job that may seem to be menial. This is the guy who would rather not work than take a job that he feels is "beneath him." This is the one who is always wanting others to give him money for a sure "investment". This could even be a compulsive gambler. The truth is he doesn't want to work for a living because he's lazy and prideful. This kind of man/woman may look down on you if you're one who works for a living, but God does not. God would rather have you work at that menial job then to assume honor for yourself and be in lack. Remember that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble!


Tilling Your Land


12:11: He who tills his land shall be satisfied with bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits is lacking in sense and is without understanding.


It may seem mundane to go to the same job day after day, but your "mundane" job is what satisfies you with bread. It's what meets your needs. Following "worthless pursuits" or something that may seem to offer a quick and easy way to get rich is not wise. And really, if you're doing what you're gifted to do then your job won't be mundane. It will be what you love and what you're good at. It's when you follow something that is not right for you that you'll end up doing something foolish.  Follow your heart and the gift that God has put within you.