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Proverbs 19:22 & meaning...

That 

which makes a man to be desired is his kindness. A poor man is better than a liar.

Proverbs 19:22

Context

Proverbs 19 [20.] Listen to counsel and receive instruction,

    that you may be wise in your latter end.

There are many plans in a man’s heart,

    but Yahweh’s counsel will prevail.

That which makes a man to be desired is his kindness.

    A poor man is better than a liar.

The fear of Yahweh leads to life, then contentment;

    he rests and will not be touched by trouble.

The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;

    he will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.


Meaning:

  • The Allure of Kindness: 

The first part of the verse highlights the attractive quality of kindness. It suggests that what makes a person truly desirable is not external appearances, wealth, or status, but the inherent goodness expressed through kindness. In the rich tapestry of human virtues, kindness emerges as a trait that transcends societal expectations and draws people toward one another.

  • A Comparative Evaluation: 

The latter part of the verse introduces a comparative element, contrasting a poor person with a liar. The choice of these contrasting figures underscores the value placed on honesty and integrity. In this context, even a person facing financial challenges is considered superior to someone who engages in deceitful practices.


Significance and Reflection:

The Enduring Allure of Kindness: Proverbs 19:22 underscores the timeless allure of kindness. In a world often preoccupied with external achievements and appearances, this verse redirects our attention to the enduring attractiveness of a kind and compassionate character. Kindness leaves a lasting impact, fostering genuine connections and building a legacy of positive influence.

The Superiority of Integrity: The comparison between a poor person and a liar is noteworthy. It implies that honesty and integrity elevate an individual's worth, transcending material wealth. This challenges societal norms that might prioritize financial success over character. It encourages us to prioritize truthfulness in our interactions and dealings.


Cross References:

Proverbs 11:16: A parallel idea states, "A gracious woman obtains honor, but violent men obtain riches." This aligns with the emphasis on virtue, suggesting that honor and desirability come not from wealth or aggression but from graciousness, which includes qualities like kindness.

Proverbs 22:1: Another related proverb says, "A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." Both verses highlight the enduring value of character and reputation over material wealth.


In Conclusion: Proverbs 19:22 encapsulates a timeless truth—one that resonates across cultures and epochs. The allure of kindness and the superiority of integrity over material success are enduring principles that invite reflection on our own values and priorities. As we navigate the complexities of life, this proverb serves as a guide, encouraging us to cultivate kindness and honesty as foundational virtues, recognizing their enduring desirability in the tapestry of human relationships.


PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible