LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?
- He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous,
- who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue,
- who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman,
- who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD,
- who keeps his oath even when it hurts,
He who does these things will never be shaken.
- who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
-- Psalm 15:1-5 (NIV)
Back in the days of the Old West it was easy: the bad guys wore black hats, and the good guys wore white.
But these days, everybody seems to wear beige.
It's not always easy to tell the bad guys from the good, in other words -- and it's especially difficult when the people who seem to talk the most about "God" and "Truth" and "Righteous" keep showing up on "Wanted" posters.
That's how Proverbs 10-13 can help. In a world full of people who claim to be "righteous," it offers some quick, easy, rules-of-thumb that will help you determine just who's on the side of the angels . . .
Rules like, "Watch how they handle money."
"Watch the way they talk about others."
And "watch the way they treat animals."
Good advice for anyone who's dating . . . or hiring . . . or serving on a church's Nominating Committee . . .
And even better advice when we're looking in a mirror.
From where we stand, after all, we may think our hat looks pretty good.
But in Proverbs, we can check to see what color it really is.