Title: Never Betray a Confidence
Scripture: Proverbs 11:13 NIV
Betrayal is worse than gossip.
A gossip may not necessarily harbor ill will toward his or her victim; but knowingly divulges information in a breach of confidence.
They commit “relational treason” by violating the trust someone has placed in them.
Judas was in a position to betray Jesus with very little effort because he was familiar with His comings and goings.
The Bible says, “Judas, who betrayed Him, know the place, because Jesus had often met there with His disciples” (John 18:2 NIV).
Judas used his inside knowledge of Jesus’ tendencies to hurt Him.
Then later his behavior was endangered such self-loathing that he committed suicide.
Acts of betrayal eat away at your self-esteem an sense of dignity.
So, have you ever breached confidence?
If so, why did you do it?
What was the reward?
Did you gain some inside advantage?
What were you envious or resentful of at the time?
Was there an unresolved conflict between you and the other person?
Have you repented of what you did?
Conversely, has someone betrayed your confidence?
If so, were you reaping what you had sown?
What valuable lesson did you learn from it?
Have you freed the offender in your heart, and no longer desire retribution?
If not, you still bound them and they’re controlling your life.
Remind yourself that, “All things work together for good to those who love God” (Romans 8:28 NKJV).
Strive to become a trustworthy person others can depend on to guard their secrets.
And if you’re blessed to have a trustworthy friend yourself, thank God for them!
And through this trustworthy friend, let’s see what we can learn from God’s Word in this…
The Lord detests dishonest scales,
but accurate weights find favor with him.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.
The integrity of the upright guides them,
but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.
Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath,
but righteousness delivers from death.
Reflection: (Proverbs 11:4)
“The day of judgement” refers to when we die or to the time when God settles accounts with all people.
On judgement day, each person will stand alone, accountable for all deeds done while on earth.
At that time, no amount of riches will buy reconciliation with God.
Only our love for God and obedience to Him will count.
The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight,
but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness.
The righteousness of the upright delivers them,
but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires.
Hopes placed in mortals die with them;
all the promise of[a] their power comes to nothing.
The righteous person is rescued from trouble,
and it falls on the wicked instead.
Reconciliation: (Proverbs 11:7-8)
These verses (like Proverbs 10:3) contrasts two paths in life but are not intended to apply universally to all people in all circumstances.
God’s people are not excluded from problems or struggles.
A person who follows God’s wisdom can be rescued from trouble.
But a wicked person will fall into self-made traps.
Even if godly people suffer, they can be sure they will ultimately be rescued from eternal death.
With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors,
but through knowledge the righteous escape.
Reflection: (Proverbs 11:9)
The mouth can be used as either a weapon or a tool, hurting relationships or building them up.
Gladly, it is often easier destroy than to build, and most people have received more destructive comments than those that build up.
Every person you meet today is either a demolition site or a construction opportunity.
Your words will make a difference.
Will they be weapons for destruction or tools for construction?
When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices;
when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.
Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.
Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense,
but the one who has understanding holds their tongue.
A gossip betrays a confidence,
but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.
For lack of guidance a nation falls,
but victory is won through many advisers.
Reflection: (Proverbs 11:14)
A good leader needs and uses wise advisers.
One person’s perspective and understanding can be severely limited – such as not having all the facts or being blinded by bias, emotions, or wrong impressions.
To be a wise leader at home, at church, or at work, seek the counsel of others and be open to their advice.
Then, after considering all the facts, make your decision.
Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer,
but whoever refuses to shake hands in pledge is safe.
A kindhearted woman gains honor,
but ruthless men gain only wealth.
Those who are kind benefit themselves,
but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.
A wicked person earns deceptive wages,
but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.
Truly the righteous attain life,
but whoever pursues evil finds death.
Reflection: (Proverbs 11:19)
“Godly people find life” because they live life more fully each day.
In addition, they need not fear death because eternal life is God’s gift to them (John 11:25).
By contrast, evil people not only find eternal death but also miss out on real life on earth.
The Lord detests those whose hearts are perverse,
but he delights in those whose ways are blameless.
Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished,
but those who are righteous will go free.
Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.
Reflection: (Proverbs 11:22)
Physical attractiveness without discretion is soon discovered to be quite ugly indeed.
We are to seek those character strengths that help us make wise decisions., not just those that make us look good.
Not everyone who looks good is pleasant to live or work with.
While taking good care of our body and appearance is not wrong, we also need to develop our ability to think and make wise decisions.
The desire of the righteous ends only in good,
but the hope of the wicked only in wrath.
One person gives freely, yet gains even more;
another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
Reflection: (Proverbs 11:24-25)
Those two verses present a paradox.
We become richer by being generous.
The world says to hold on to as much as possible, but God blesses those who give freely of their possessions, time, and energy.
When we give, God supplies us with more so that we can give more.
In addition, giving helps us gain a right perspective on our possessions.
We realize they were never really ours to begin with; they were given by God to be used to help others.
What then do we gain by giving?
Freedom from enslavement to our possessions, the joy of helping others, and God’s approval.
People curse the one who hoards grain,
but they pray God’s blessing on the one who is willing to sell.
Whoever seeks good finds favor,
but evil comes to one who searches for it.
Those who trust in their riches will fall,
but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.
Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind,
and the fool will be servant to the wise.’
Reflection: (Proverbs 11:29)
One of the greatest resources God gives us is the family.
Families provide acceptance, encouragement, guidance, and counsel,
Bringing trouble on your family – whether through anger or through exaggerated desire for independence – is foolish because you cut yourself off from all they provide.
In your family, strive for healing, communication, and understanding.
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
and the one who is wise saves lives.
Reflection: (Proverbs 11:30)
A person is a model of a meaningful life.
Like a tree attracts people to its shade, a wise person’s sense of purpose attracts others who want to know how they too, can find meaning.
Gaining wisdom yourself can be the first step in leading people to God.
If the righteous receive their due on earth,
how much more the ungodly and the sinner!
Reflection: (Proverbs 11:31)
Contrary to popular opinion, no one sis and gets away with it.
The righteous are rewarded for their daily; the wicked are punished by their sins.
Don’t think for a moment that “it won’t matter” or “nobody will know” or “I won’t get caught” (see also 1 Peter 4:18).