Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked.” (Psalm 37:16)
“Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it….Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble with it.” (Proverbs 15:16-17; 16:8)
I am writing this in my hospital room about thirty-six hours after knee surgery, by God’s grace alone. The first twenty-four hours were a breeze compared to the pain now that the spinal block has worn off. This may be my shortest blog entry in spite of our verses that are filled with the knowledge of Christ, the source of all godly knowledge (1 Corinthians 1:24). David and Solomon are contrasting the lifestyle of a wicked fool with that of a godly person. The wicked fool here has a bulging bank account to spend on himself without thought of those who have very little. The righteous person is the one with little material wealth, but great strength of character to share his wealth with others and use his revenue in this world for God’s glory, which we are working on here and now.
The Christian’s life is a sacrificial one, modeled by Jesus. Believers are heir to all things and desires to give all things away. The wicked man or woman is afraid of losing his possessions. I think of the people I know who need knee replacements but will not submit themselves to the very real pain and vulnerability. They endure all the troubles of a bad knee, such as falling down or not being able to go up and down steps easily. The other outlook *which I am trying very hard to hold on to) is that this intense pain will give way to complete healing to my benefit and the benefit of others.
Deciding to have knee replacement surgery is an intentional act leading to greater activity, freedom from pain, and the ability to help others in a way that I haven’t been able to since 2014. Yes, it’s painful, and yes, I have had to give up all my activities for a short time. But it’s nothing compared with the benefits that are yet to come. Passive waiting for improvement is not an option for someone who wants to be more active in ministry to others for God’s glory. There are two clear choices: go through the pain of the surgery and rehab, or do nothing and hope it doesn’t get worse, which is inevitable.
Why would anyone submit themselves to such a painful ordeal? There is the easy way of accepting our condition right now, which will deteriorate. The other choice is to renew our thinking in the fear of the Lord pushing on to become the person with the fear of the Lord and unknown wealth? Will you intentionally choose the path of righteousness? “Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked.” (Psalm 37:16) Does your life look like this? What must happen in your life to be the righteous person described here?