One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. (Prov. 11:24)

WHAT’S FAIR? And when do we see evidence of it in our experience? Cheaters aren’t always caught. Races are fixed. Some build careers on lies and deception. Yet, deep down, even the youngest among us seem to know when something isn’t right.

Proverbs exposes wisdom to us in the area of right and wrong, genuine and counterfeit. They’re our measuring rod and true north. Most cultures have a code or set of maxims that are held up as a standard. The proverbs of the Bible are the “gold standard.” It’s where the Father, through Solomon and others, tells us how humans are wired and the consequences of sin.

In our relativistic society it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find our way, and the price is fairness. The news reports of IRA’s being raided by governments in default, corporate smoke-and-mirror tactics preying on wage-earners, and scam alerts for the elderly are on the rise.

But in reading Proverbs, we sense ultimate authority and accountability. “The wicked will not go unpunished,” God declares, and “those who are righteous will go free.” Indiscretion is ugly, and want and dissatisfaction are the fruit of perversity. God, himself, says so.

Read Proverbs and apply its wisdom to live rightly.

Beth Weikel is the author of the upcoming Hope in the Midst of Loss (May 2015; WPH) about the challenges and suffering of grief.