Do you remember the childhood game “Would you rather”? Would you rather have Batman’s powers or Spiderman’s powers? Would you rather the weather be too hot or too cold? Sometimes the choice was easy, and other times it was difficult. If two friends are hanging from a cliff and you can only save one, would you rather save this one or that one? This game is not much fun for adults, especially when the choices are hard. But since hard choices are very much a part of adulthood, let’s consider this “game” with regard to Proverbs 16:8.
Proverbs 16:8 and Economic Health
Proverbs 16:8 says “Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice.” We can turn this into a question: Would you rather have great revenues with injustice or little with righteousness?
American individualism has broken down certain units that God has given to mankind, such as the familial unit and the national unit. Let’s ask our question again with these units in view. Would you rather your family have great revenues with injustice or little with righteousness? Would you rather your nation have great revenues with injustice or little with righteousness?
Prior to the current economic trouble caused by the coronavirus, our nation was enjoying a relatively healthy economy. Yet, as a nation, we continued to add to our blood guilt. As a nation we were (or rather, we are) on the wrong side of Proverbs 16:8. As a nation, we would rather have great revenues with injustice than little with righteousness.
Moral Reform > Economic Health
As we listen to the news of our country beginning to reopen, and hope that the optimistic speculation of “bouncing back” actually comes to fruition, let us not forget this proverb. It would be wonderful if God shows mercy to our nation both in bringing moral reform and in granting economic health. Both are blessings. But God tells us in this proverb that it would be better to have moral reform in a waning economy than to have a robust economy with moral corruption.
If our country were to be in a position to choose either economic health or moral reform, then as Christians we are to consider moral reform far more valuable. Would you rather live in a great depression where abortion is illegal, or in a booming economy with the blood of millions of unborn children crying out from the ground?
The word repentance means changing your mind and agreeing with God. When a sinner repents, he is crying out with a mind that has been changed. The repentant Christian has a mind that has been changed and continues to be changed. By God’s grace we continue to agree more and more with God about what is true, what is good, and what is beautiful.
This “Would you rather” question is more than just a question for us. God says that it is better to have little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice. That applies to individuals, families and nations. And the repentant Christian is in agreement with God.