Proverbs 28 begins with this puzzling proverb: “The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” Why would someone flee when there is no danger? Simply put, wicked people often assume everyone else is like them. Someone who covets others’ possessions and even steals believes that their neighbor also wants their stuff, so they live in fear of what others might do to them. Wickedness breeds distrust.

On the other hand, the righteous earn good reputations and are those that neighbors wish to see thrive. When a righteous person prospers, the city rejoices (see Proverbs 29:2). Having such good favor with neighbors and with God emboldens a person to live with confidence in life. Righteousness has additional benefits other than simply the joy of doing good. Wickedness breeds more and more consequences.