Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Proverbs 11:11

Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.

Scripture Insights

It happens in the marketplace—where pressures mount, where fear and suspicion drive us to label instead of listen, where uncertainty pushes us into defensive postures, where “the mouth of the wicked” captures so much airtime. Into this space—beyond the safety of the sanctuary and the self-assuring echo chambers of social media—venture the upright. They cannot be less daring, for their hearts have been captured by the mandate to be imitators of God and live a life of love
(see Ephesians 5:1–2). For them, only one label applies to everyone: neighbor. They see their neighbors, look into their eyes, learn their names, hear their stories. Against the impulse to gain the upper hand or eliminate risks to their own resources, the upright walk in the marketplace with humility and generosity of spirit—listening, learning, engaging with integrity and sensitivity, rooted in Christ, clothed with compassion and kindness (see Proverbs 11:1–10; Colossians 3:12). They cross all kinds of barriers and divides. Like the Samaritan. Like Jesus, who dared to be fully present in real moments with the wayward and despised, exemplifying and offering life.
Hope takes hold in spaces laid waste by the wicked. With each embrace of
neighbor, the entire community is uplifted.

Today’s Prayer

Lord Jesus, examine with us our last twenty-four hours, these last seven days. Open our eyes to see all around us always and only neighbors, pursued by you. Let our lives become the uplifting blessing of the upright.

—Stan Rodes
Administrative Director, Global Clergy Development, Church of the Nazarene

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