The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is better than a liar.
– Proverbs 19:22
The word for desire means longing, or object of desire. The word for kindness means mercy, or loving kindness. Since it is contrasted with lying here, it refers to faithful, or loyal, kindness. The true worth of a man is measured in his loyalty and faithfulness, not his wealth. This makes a poor man better than a liar, though he is rich (Proverbs 19:1). Proverbs doesn’t exalt poverty of itself. There’s nothing inherently virtuous or meritorious in poverty. Poverty with wisdom is often contrasted with having wealth with folly or wickedness, and poverty is then better (Proverbs 8:11; 15:16-17; 16:8; 17:1; et al).