22 What a person desires is unfailing love;
better to be poor than a liar.
23 The fear of the Lord leads to life;
then one rests content, untouched by trouble.
Two of the deepest desires of humanity are to be fully known and fully loved, yet there is a tension between them. If all of my flaws were exposed, my selfishness, lusts, pride, greed and apathy – how could anyone love me at all? But the more I hide myself, the more superficial my relationships become. Poverty is no barrier to authentic love, but deceit hinders all relationships. Surely it is better to acknowledge my poverty, come what may, than to live a lie.
“The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” The claim here is not that we will not have trouble – just look at the lives of the god-fearing examples in scripture – but rather that rest and contentment are possible in its midst. Everything we are tempted to put our contentment in is vulnerable to the sorrows of life, but the Lord and those who put their trust in him will outlast every hardship.