“A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.”
“He is a good man.” How many times have you heard that said about a person? We often hear this description of an individual when you are asking about someone’s character. However, a good man is a relative term. There must be some guidelines to define a good man. Thankfully, the Scriptures always have the answers, and the answer to defining a good man is found in the verse above. Psalm 112:5-9 gives five characteristics of a good man.
First, a good man is discrete with his financial affairs. The verse above says, “…he will guide his affairs with discretion.” Guiding your affairs with discretion carries two meanings. First, being discrete with your affairs means that you are not boastful about what you do. I had a wealthy man who taught me never to discuss my finances with others. He told me to keep my finances private. Whether you are poor or rich, this is wise advice. Finances should never define a person. If you depend on your financial status to define you, you are a very shallow person. Character should define a person, not their financial status.
Secondly, being discrete means to be careful with your finances. Don’t be frivolous with your spending, and be slow to invest your money. When something sounds financially too good to be true, it probably is. Always know what you invest your money in, and know how to get it out before you lose it. A good man realizes that his money comes from the LORD, and he should be a wise steward in how he spends and invests it.
Second, a good man knows what he believes. Verse 6 says, “Surely he shall not be moved for ever…” A good man doesn’t have to rely on others to know what is right and wrong, but he has learned what he believes from the Scriptures. Christian, stop letting others define your beliefs and learn what you believe by studying the Scriptures. A good man doesn’t have to refer people to others to show them what they believe, but he personally shows people from the Scriptures what he believes.
Third, a good man isn’t swayed by hardships. Verse 7 says, “He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.” Hard times are going to come, but you cannot allow hard times to put God on trial. The good man has already settled in his heart that he is serving the LORD whether or not the times are good or bad. Don’t let the tidings of life determine your service for the LORD; rather, fix your heart on the fact that you are serving the LORD in good and bad times.
Fourth, a good man is patient with right. Verse 8 says, “His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.” The good man doesn’t need immediate gratification to keep doing right. He is patient with right because he understands that in time he will see the benefits of doing right.
Fifth, a good man is a giver. Verse 9 shows that he gives to the poor. A good man is not about himself, but he is about helping others around him financially and in action.
My friend, do you fall under the category of a good man? These characteristics should define every Christian. If you will delight in God’s Word and fear the LORD, you will find that these characteristics will define you.