Honest Lifestyle

Proverbs 1:16-19 

16For their feet rush into evil, they are swift to shed blood. 17How useless to spread a net where every bird can see it! 18These men lie in wait for their own blood; they ambush only themselves! 19Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the life of those who get it.


Election of leaders is very crucial to the future of a nation. We cannot dictate election result. We should not worry about it either; but we can pray for it. It says in Philippians 4:6, 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Whoever wins the election and governs, we have to regularly pray for godly wisdom and honest governance for our leaders. When we chose leaders based on their experiences, past performances or even outward appearance, it’s a biblical blunder!

When the Lord had instructed Prophet Samuel to anoint the next king of Israel, he thought that the oldest son of Jesse was most qualified candidate. He was mistaken.

It says in 1 Samuel 17:6-7, 6Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Who should be the next king that the Lord may choose? The sons of Jesse were candidates for kingship. Some of the older brothers were soldiers; they were veterans of war. Yet, the Lord chose David as king. David had no experience of war; he was not as strong as his older brothers and he was also the youngest among the other candidates.

What had qualified David to be king of Israel? In the eyes of human, he should be the last choice among his brothers; but, the Lord saw David as the greatest king of Israel.

Each person has a share of mistakes; leaders can make mistakes. So, we regularly pray for our leaders. Can you accept that God had chosen you as leader? Believers are mandated to witness and lead others to Christ; our lifestyle should prove transformed life; and, we’ve got to be quick and swift to use all means to lead others to the Lord.

1.   Swift

16For their feet rush into evil, they are swift to shed blood. 17How useless to spread a net where every bird can see it!

Do you have exotic birds as pets at home? To catch exotic birds alive, use nets to prevent accidental fracture of bones or damage to feather. But, if birds can openly see the net, they would flee; effort is wasted. Similarly, malicious individuals are quick on illegal activities, they swiftly express malevolent tendencies. Malicious lifestyle is wasted effort. It’s not favorably productive; it’s disadvantageous to career and reputation.

Anyone can observe the great difference between honest and dishonest lifestyle. Honesty can slowly but surely produce optimal and favorable character in a person.

In contrast, dishonesty is not most beneficial to life; it destroys reputation in the long run. Malevolence will pay a great price; and, career will be harmed consequently.

Professional Sport

Professional sport (baseball, football, basketball) should be played professionally, right? How should professionals play the game? Do your best to win; and during crucial games, malicious players may try to harm players from opposing team, just to win. But, players who deliberately harmed others destroyed their image as well. Opportunities for endorsement of products are not bright for them. Malevolent influencer, no way!

The world of sport shows a practical reality in the world we live. As much as we abhor it, we just don’t have control when malicious individuals, who have shameless mindset, emerge into our community. Workplaces, schools, grocery stores, shopping malls, parks or on the streets, wherever good people go, bad elements will go.

What can we do when we are situated in an unfriendly environment?

What should we do as children of the King of kings? It says in Esther 4:14, 14And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?

What is your impression with this? Believers have royal positions! Really? We are children of the King of kings! Do you sense it yourself? Believers are a royal priesthood. So, when surrounded by malicious individuals, we should be sensible of our lifestyle.

2.  Sensible

18These men lie in wait for their own blood; they ambush only themselves! 19Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the life of those who get it.

Have you actually seen someone stealing something at shopping malls or grocery stores? Shoplifting is not very amusing sight. How do you sensibly react when someone does something wrong or illegal? Calling the police would be a better choice than trying to be hero when illegal activity is in progress; and if, it’s not a matter of life and death.

It has been heard that they resort to illegal activities as means of survival. But, in a country with abundance of natural resources, stealing can be adventurous escapade to individuals; some of them may have personal problems, and they cannot just do goodness voluntarily. But still, dishonest gains cause more harm than good to the doer.

The Scripture has defined which lifestyle can bring goodness or harm to a person. The Lord did not keep secret; he made it known that we are blessed if we obey him, and he has already decreed the consequences if we choose to ignore his instructions.

We can learn from the lifestyle of the Israelites. Those who obeyed the Lord were blessed. Those who disobeyed the Lord had suffered the consequences of disobedience.

During the time when the Babylonians invaded Jerusalem, King Zedekiah inquired of the Lord what he should do. The Lord instructed him in Jeremiah 38:17-23. 17‘If you surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, your life will be spared and this city will not be burned down; you and your family will live. 18But if you will not surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, this city will be given into the hands of the Babylonians and they will burn it down; you yourself will not escape from them.’” 19King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Jews who have gone over to the Babylonians, for the Babylonians may hand me over to them and they will mistreat me.” 20“They will not hand you over,” Jeremiah replied. “Obey the Lord by doing what I tell you. Then it will go well with you, and your life will be spared. 21But if you refuse to surrender, this is what the Lord has revealed to me: 22All the women left in the palace of the king of Judah will be brought out to the officials of the king of Babylon. Those women will say to you: “‘They misled you and overcame you—those trusted friends of yours. Your feet are sunk in the mud; your friends have deserted you.’ 23“All your wives and children will be brought out to the Babylonians. You yourself will not escape from their hands but will be captured by the king of Babylon; and this city will be burned down.”

Surrender was the best option for Zedekiah, why? King Zedekiah was very scared of what his officials may say; he was scared who his people do to him. So, he chose to disobey the instruction of the Lord. Indeed, he tried to escape from the Babylonians, and he was captured, just as the Lord had warned through Prophet Jeremiah.

Sad reality, but many believers are also scared of what others may tell them, so that they ignore the Lord. It is not very great experience to have both faith and fear.

Faith or Fear

Someone said that life is like the man who caught two wolves and named them Faith and Fear. The man feed the wolf he called Faith, but for few days, he gave no food to the wolf he called Fear. And then, he put them together in one cage to observe what they do. The wolf named Fear was hungry and tried to eat the wolf named Faith. But since the wolf named Faith was stronger, it easily defeated the wolf named Fear.

Similarly, if we choose to feed our faith in the Lord, we also grow stronger in our trust of the Lord; and, the fear of the unknown would be defeated eventually.

It says in Romans 15:13, 13May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Economic crisis, pandemic, domestic and international concerns can cause us to be scared of the future. Be honest with yourself! If you sense fear of the future, pray for stronger faith; seek to be empowered by the Holy Spirit until you sense strong hope in God. Joy and peace despite struggles proves that we’ve grown in our faith in the Lord.

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