Better the poor whose walk is blameless than the rich whose ways are perverse.
Proverbs 28:6 (NIV)
The Corruption Perceptions Index is an index which ranks countries “by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.” The CPI generally defines corruption as an “abuse of entrusted power for private gain”. The index is published annually by the non-governmental organization Transparency International since 1995. The 2021 CPI, published in January 2022, ranks 180 countries “on a scale from 100 (very clean) to 0 (highly corrupt)”, Canada has a score of 74, ranking it the 13th least corrupt country in the world.
Super Bowl-winning coach, and committed follower of Jesus, Tony Dungy wrote this in his book Uncommon: “Integrity is the choice between what’s convenient and what’s right.” In a world that is marked by convenience, so often we choose convenience over what is right, and by so doing, we lose our integrity. King Solomon understood the importance of a life of integrity. In Proverbs 28:6 he writes, “Better the poor whose way of life is blameless than the rich whose ways are perverse.” We are reading these days about Russian oligarchs who got rich by walking all over others and making back room deals that at best would be considered suspect. This happens in our world more than we might imagine. It has always been thus. King Solomon understood this, being the King of one of the key Middle Eastern nations at the time. The principles of the Kingdom of God stand in opposition to the principles of the kingdoms of this world. How much better it is, Solomon reminds us, to lack in the things of this world but to thrive in the Kingdom of God. That is still true today.
These have been words from the heart.