Pr. 21:6: “Getting treasures by a lying tongue is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death.”
The first thing that comes to mind for me with this verse is games. Cheating to win a game may bring a moment of exhilaration, but certainly it is a delusion that is short-lived and distorted. The lesson that must eventually be learned is that if you had to cheat to win, then you really didn’t “win” at all.
Some, however, never learn this. Some get used to the feeling of winning, to the feeling of exhilaration that comes from manipulating their environment to get what they want. I remember when I was a young kid, maybe 5 or 6, and I stole something from a store. My mom eventually found out and she drove all the way back to the mall, made me hand my prize back to the cashier, and I had to tell them that I had stolen it. I still remember the terrifying feeling of having to do that.
What if my mom had not done this? Her plan wasn’t fool-proof, but she had to try if she was to teach me about integrity. If I had been allowed to relish the feeling of getting something free, perhaps I would have tried it again the next time we went shopping. Time after time, if I continued, my path may have led me to cheat and steal in other areas of my life. Lying and stealing would have become second nature to me.
How does someone become a person who consistently lies to get what they want, steals from others, embezzles, or cheats people out of their own possessions or money? Almost certainly it is not a decision they wake up one day and make. It is more probable that the trajectory of their life has led them to that place. Little by little, understanding that lying or stealing can get them something they want or make them feel good, they begin to trust in that feeling and grow comfortable that consequences won’t come.
Still those feelings are a fleeting fantasy, and while they may not be purposefully choosing to seek death, the snares of death have taken hold of their lives. The only way to be released from the snares is the truth.
Confessing our sins to our Savior (whatever they may be) and asking for forgiveness allows God to release His forgiveness and grace over our lives. Honesty from that point forward will continue to point to the Savior and to eternal life. The power and presence of God is a reality that brings better things. There is a great, enduring reward for those who believe in the Lord. Now THAT is a real Win!
Let’s be careful not to pursue fleeting fantasies of sin, but to endure for a great reward in heaven. We will be ever so grateful that we did.