“When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices …” — Proverbs 11:10
Have you ever found yourself embroiled in a superstar debate? Jordan vs. LeBron. Magic vs. Bird. Brady vs. Montana. You know what I’m talking about. A certain player has shown tremendous talent and skill for years and the debate centers around just how good he has really been. Has he been good or great? How many rings?
For me, my favorite quality, which I think deserves the most merit, isn’t found in stats, it’s found in effect: Did he make the players around him better? In my opinion, the greatest impact and effect of a superstar is displayed through the elevation of the teammates that surround them. When I read Proverbs 11:10, I’m reminded of the superstar effect. It says, “When the righteous thrive, the city rejoices…”
Do you see it?
This verse shows us that the impact of the righteous goes far beyond themselves. It’s not the Church that rejoices when the righteous thrive, it’s the city. Call it the superstar effect of the righteous if you want, but to me, Proverbs 11:10 both demands and asks something of me:
- Am I thriving?
- Am I having an impact/effect on more than just myself?
Look at Abraham in Genesis 18. Abraham is pleading with God for Sodom and Gomorrah, and he takes a unique angle to negotiate with God. “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it?” (vv. 23-24).
A few verses later, we find Abraham has negotiated from 50 all the way down to 10. “’What if only ten can be found there?’ He answered, ‘For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it’” (v. 32).
Do you see it?
For the sake of 10 righteous people, Sodom and Gomorrah would have been spared. It may be a dark and startling way of making a point, but the impact of the righteous, had 10 righteous people been found, would have gone far beyond themselves and spared entire cities!
The impact of the righteous is to go far beyond themselves. That’s a challenge! We all find ourselves in days where we are nowhere close to thriving, but just surviving. Yet here, with just seven words, we find a challenge that we are to thrive! Not only is it a challenge, it’s a promise as well. When the righteous thrive, their impact goes far beyond themselves.
This great gift of salvation is far too good to keep to ourselves. Don’t be the selfish, me-first, ball-hog. No one likes playing with them. Proverbs 11:10 encourages us to be that superstar who also elevates those around us, because the impact of the righteous should go far beyond themselves!
Imagine what this world would look like should we all start to thrive together?
Proverbs 11:10 is a challenge and a promise wrapped up in seven words. The coach is calling your number. Will you step up?
— Franco Martinez
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