Reading through the book of Proverbs, yes again, I know I was there late last year it is just a book that is wonderful to return to again and again. I commend you do the same. Anyway this morning I read chapter 19 and was struck by this short but provocative phrase:
"better to be poor than to be a liar."
Now it may not be too provocative to you, but let me explain why it is so to me.
Our culture has become one which cherishes image over substance. This extends into simply every area of life. Where it is most noticeable is our worship of celebrity. Celebrities, those who possess fame, wealth, and image are seen to be role-models and those whom we would seek to be like almost always because of their money (and the lifestyle that apparently comes with that) not their morality.
Morality, in fact, is an increasing hinderance to celebrity it seems so why would you cherish integrity and honesty (which is what this verse is trying to highlight) if it appears to distract from the lifestyle so idolized in our society. Those that are followers of Jesus have to cut radically across the grain in this. We have to be different. We have to believe the promises of God, even when we will get no support from secular-materialist culture, that being poor is not as damaging, not as 'inwardly' destructive as being a liar.
Better to be without money than without morality. That's not what I say, it's what He says!
PS. I know there are rich, honest people, please do not hear what I am not saying