Established With Integrity

Take away the impurities from the silver,
    and a good smith can create something of value;
 Take away the wicked from among the king’s advisors,
    and his reign will be established with integrity.

–Proverbs 25:4-5

While reading this passage in The Voice translation the other night, I began to ponder what the words might mean if I put others in the place of the king.

Others, meaning you or me.

If I were to “take away the wicked from among [my] advisors”, what would be the result?

Kings had formal advisors to converse with about important things.

Not considering my friends to be formal advisors, they are, however, a very real influence.

Now, what about that word, wicked?

I can honestly say I don’t have any wicked friends.

Being curious about it, I looked up some words that mean the same thing:

Wayward.

Degenerate.

Mischievous.

Immoral.

Unethical.

No. My friends don’t fall into this category.

So, what is the result?

My reign will be established in integrity.

Not being a king (or queen),  I don’t have a reign.

I do, nonetheless, have influence.

Influence on my family.

Influence on the people I work with.

Influence on the people I see at church.

Influence on the very friends that I am influenced by.

Applying this scripture to myself, I can come to the conclusion that if I choose only wise and God honoring people to be my advisors/friends, then my own influence will be one of integrity.

And how important is that to me?

Extremely important.

How important is that to you?

integrity

Without Self-Control

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I’m not exactly sure what the little building was for.

It had a small fence in front of it.

There were no windows or doors.

In fact, there didn’t seem to be any walls.

Just posts to hold up the sturdy looking roof.

It was some type of shelter, I’m sure, but it would not have been able to protect someone inside from anything other than sun and rain.

If it had been constructed with walls, windows and doors, that would have been a different story.

Someone inside could have been protected from anything outside.

Proverbs 25:28 in The Message reads,

“A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out.”

A house with missing windows and doors is unprotected, much like the structure I saw.

Someone who does not have self-control is unprotected, as well.

Just about anything can come into their lives because there are no boundaries or barriers to keep the bad things out.

Those windows and doors are the boundaries and barriers in our lives that can open up to let good things in and shut tightly to keep what is not good from entering.

I need to consider—-

Do I have self-control?

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Click image to enlarge.

house