Proverbs 11:9-11

With his speech the godless person destroys his neighbor,
but by knowledge the righteous will be delivered.
When the righteous do well, the city rejoices;
when the wicked perish, there is joy.
A city is exalted by the blessing provided from the upright,
but it is destroyed by the counsel of the wicked.

I was listening to the news today while I was driving. I can’t remember which city they were talking about, but I remember what they were saying about the city. The average income for the town is $10-15,000 below the national average (which for a town in the northwest is a big deal, since our cost of living is higher than many parts of the country). They also said that it was difficult for new businesses to come to the town because of the hoops they had to jump through. It didn’t paint a very good picture.

When you compare that with Money Magazines top 100, you get a very different picture. The number 1 city for 2012 according to their survey was Carmel, IN. The list of good things for this town goes on and no. They’ve got an unemployment rate that is half the national average. The schools are among the best, the workers are happy and well paid. It’s a very different picture from what I heard on the radio about this other town.

So, if I were a city manager, I’d think strongly about offering some classes on how to be a righteous, wise and Proverbious person. Cities rejoice when righteous people live in the city. Remember, righteousness is living rightly. We’re not talking about the religious nuts who wave stupid signs at funerals for soldiers. We’re talking about the truly wise and righteous individuals who know how to live in every way.

Towns rejoice when the wicked die. Of course it’s sad, but when a wicked person is gone forever, usually people are relieved and happy. They don’t bring joy, life and growth to a city. Instead, they bring destruction.

But, a city is exalted by the blessing that comes from the upright. When a town is filled with people who are trying to live rightly, they add to the town by adding to the lives of individuals living in the town.

So, if you’re involved in leading your city, you might think about teaching the leaders of the town and the influential members of the community how to live the Proverbious life. Doing this will bring much greater benefit to your town than any¬†bureaucratic¬†idea you could conjure up.