One who rebukes a person will later find more favor than one who flatters with his tongue. The one who robs his father or mother and says, “That’s no sin,” is a companion to a man who destroys. A greedy person provokes conflict, but whoever trusts in the Lord will prosper. The one who trusts in himself is a fool, but one who walks in wisdom will be safe. The one who gives to the poor will not be in need, but one who turns his eyes away will receive many curses. When the wicked come to power, people hide, but when they are destroyed, the righteous flourish. Prov 28:23-28 (HCSB)
Consider the world that we live in, it is full of both the wicked and the wise, but how can we separate them and know who to follow? The Lord clearly contrasts them in this manner:
- The wicked are marked by their smooth words that tend to flatter everyone. Their conscience conceals their self-centered motives, and they would take advantage of even their closest friends and family, if it served their interests, and thus they seem to be surrounded by confusion, chaos, and even conflict. The wicked only trust in themselves, neither seeking nor accepting counsel from others. The wicked despise the poor and give nothing, including a nod to those in need. The wicked in leadership are lonely because they provoke fear from even their closest friends.
- The wise are marked by a confident spirit founded upon the Lord’s wisdom and direction, and they genuinely care about others. The wise will offer carefully considered rebukes to those whose actions and attitudes are at risk. The wise are content in whatever state the Lord has placed them, and praises the Lord. Thus, the Lord prospers the wise because they are trustworthy with what the Lord provides that person. The wise walk securely wherever they go, because they know the Lord walks with them as their strength, their shield, and their savior. The wise seek out opportunities to help others less fortunate than themselves, and makes the poor feel blessed. The wise trust the Lord’s provision will never be exhausted when you are serving in His will. It is the wicked that others flock to for guidance and direction, and they have plenty of others who desire to serve with them.
In our world, we need more wise leaders and less of the wily wicked ones. We need to be able to have the discernment from the Lord so we can separate out the wise from the wicked.
But, how can we choose wisely?
Invest time with the Lord and seek God’s will, God’s ways, and God’s wisdom according to God’s Word, and He will give your spiritual understanding.
We need to come out from our hiding and not be complacent or afraid that we cannot make difference. We need to serve the Lord by joining with the wise, and make a genuine difference in our world. The wicked will stumble and the wise will prevail. God promises the outcome is true. Do you trust God or your fears?
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. Anyone who believes in Him is not judged, but anyone who does not believe is already judged, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.
“This, then, is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.” John 3:16-21 (HCSB)