Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Proverbs 19:22 – What a man desires is unfailing love; better to be poor than a liar. (NIV)

Years ago, when I ministered in Scotland, there were two elderly sisters in the congregation. Both of them had been members of the church all of their lives. One of them lived on a farm, which had a large acreage and which in the past had been very productive. The other sister lived in a modest condo, which she kept immaculately clean.

The sister on the farm was widowed and had lived a hard life. She was weary and very needy. She didn't go out much, and as the years sped past, she became almost a recluse. Her sister, on the other hand, was very outgoing, and had a wonderful husband and a lot of joy in her life.

To look at both of them, you wouldn't think they came from the same home, but they did. In fact, they were both brought up on the same farm. When their father died, they were due to inherit the family farm equally, but one of the sisters managed to get her father to sign ownership over to both her and her husband before her dad died.

The other sister was left with nothing, and so she quit the farm and went to live in public housing in the nearby town. Throughout her life, she didn't have very much financially, but the riches of her life were a loving husband, great children, and a joyful disposition.

On the other hand, her sister had all the riches of the farm, which she and her husband squandered over the years. She ended up with a bad marriage, estranged children, and a guilty conscience for the rest of her days. The beautiful thing is that in her last few years of sickness, her loving sister visited her and cared for her each day on the farm. One was rich and had lived a lie. The other was poor, but showed unfailing love.

Every day we make choices and decisions. The question we must ask ourselves is this: are we choosing to fulfill our own desires and deceive ourselves, or are we willing to share our blessings and show unfailing love?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we all suffer injustice in our lives, and trouble never seems far away. Sometimes we bring this on ourselves because of greed, insecurity, or ambition. Help us to remain true to You in all that we seek to do this day. Keep us free from guile and deception. Enable us to show compassion and care, even to those who hurt and disappoint us. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.

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John Stuart <>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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