Proverbs 19:1 Dissected & Defined
Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.
Dissected and Defined
Better means advantageous over another. Poor means weak. Walketh is the process of taking repeated steps. Integrity is unimpaired honesty. Perverse means to distort. To be a fool is to know right but to choose wrong.
Here we see two types of behavior. Solomon tells us that the former is more advantageous than the latter. Simply put, it is honesty over distortion.
Poor or Poor?
Let us begin this exposé of Solomon’s “underlying meaning” by explaining the word poor. Many think it means to be without money, and often it does. Yet, the word is better defined as the word “weak.” You see, a poor father or a poor Christian is not a father or Christian that is “broke” financially. In this verse, we can assume he is speaking of money, and it does apply, but I ask you to consider every area of your life in which you may be deficient and inspect your integrity.
The Enemy Will Target Our Honesty
Those who take repeated steps of unimpaired honesty are better…That is to say we will receive regular opportunities to impair our honesty. Impair means to weaken. Our enemy is constantly trying to weaken our honesty. Every circumstance in life is an opportunity to strengthen our honesty with a step in the right or wrong direction.
Dishonesty Comes From Inside
The wrong step is listed as the least advantageous choice—to be perverse in our lips, to distort with our mouth. That is dishonesty. If we conclude that before we speak we will think, then it is safe to say that we make dishonest decisions on the inside then take dishonest steps on the outside.
He indicates that makes us a fool. Someone who knows right (on the inside), but chooses wrong (on the outside). Our unipaired honesty is tested on the inside but our dishonesty is revealed on the outside.
That means if I walk right, I’ll talk right. That makes me a Walkie/Talkie and that’s the honest Truth!