2 Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit,
but righteousness delivers from death.
3 The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry,
but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
Consider: Maybe you aren’t as good as you think!
“Wickedness” is a hard word. And surely it is unrelated to anything about me. Wickedness is what other people stumble into, the rich and powerful, the well connected, globe-trotting, corner cutting, tax evading, high living, money grubbing, greedy, cocaine snorting, drug trafficking, filthy rich. But wickedness is also a relative term.
The Broadway hit Wicked is helpful here. Based loosely on the Wizard of Oz, Wicked offers a creative back story to the sweetness and easily definable Land of Oz. Everything and everyone in that lovely, colorful place fits nicely into these Proverb-like categories of good and evil. But Wicked turns everything upside down. The Wicked Witch we all loved to hate is not what we think. In fact, in Wicked,we discover she is strong, ethical and courageously standing for the rights of others. She emerges as the heroine unfairly cast as evil by those she was beginning to expose as self-absorbed, self-righteous, unscrupulous and fake. In fact, many of the heroes in the Wizard of Oz turn out to be the wicked ones. Elphaba (the former “Wicked Witch”) is the righteous one.
Things are not always as they seem. Too often our actions or inactions contribute to more hurt, anger or resentment than we would like to admit. Even the ubiquitous action known as “networking” could be interpreted as troubling. Might using others for our own advancement constitute “treasures gained by wickedness?” Maybe we aren’t as good as we think.
Let us do our best to lean well in the direction of righteousness; and let us also acknowledge that wickedness is not an action done by the “bad” only. We all need to remain vigilant in faith, heart and actions.
Pray: Give us the wisdom, Lord, to see ourselves for who we are, and be ready to adjust our actions and inactions accordingly. We want to be righteous. Let us also be humble. We need your help.