Together in Christ: 'Gracious or Ruthless?' — Proverbs 11:16

Friday, May 3, 2024

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A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth.

— Proverbs 11:16 NLT

Key Thought

I love how the Holy Spirit repeatedly used the collection of Proverbs to make extreme comparisons of human traits to help us choose the godly way to live. We easily recognize the expansive gulf that separates a gracious woman from a ruthless man. The Spirit wants us to know that the end product of each of their lives is an eternity apart. Respect and honor are given by God and valued by God, [1] so they last for a lifetime and more. Ruthless people gain only wealth, which will perish with them or run out before they die. [2] Why would we ever want to waste our lives on "stuff" that does not last and is subject to corruption, theft, and decay? [3] Let's remember this broad gulf between being gracious and being ruthless, and then choose to work for what brings us "life indeed" — to be held in honor by the King of Glory [4]

[1] 1 Kings 3:13-14; Psalm 62:7, 71:21; Proverbs 3:35, 14:31, 22:4; 1 Peter 1:6-7.
[2] Psalm 49:12; 1 John 2:15-17.
[3] Matthew 6:19-21; 1 John 2:17.
[4] John 4:13-14; 2 Corinthians 5:4-5; John 10:10 WE.

Today's Prayer

Holy and righteous Father, I know celebrating ruthless men and women is popular today in movies, books, and TV shows. I do not want my values twisted by approving or delighting in people who are sinister and ruthless. Purge any thought or temptation toward ruthlessness from my heart. Stir me to kindheartedness and graciousness with others, especially those who are most vulnerable. O, Spirit of the Living God, conform my heart to Jesus, in Whose name I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 1 Kings 3:5-15
  • Romans 8:1-8

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Illustration

Illustration of Proverbs 11:16 NLT — A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.