Have you ever been faced with a situation where using a little deception seemed like a tempting shortcut to achieve your desires? It’s a common human struggle, isn’t it? We often find ourselves at crossroads between honesty and deceit, especially when it comes to getting what we want. But before we go down that slippery path, let’s take a moment to reflect on the wisdom of this proverb:
Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man,— Proverbs 20:17 (NKJV)
But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.
In this insightful verse, the writer captures the essence of a timeless truth: the allure of deception might promise quick gains, but its aftermath is far from sweet. Think about it – when we resort to deceit to fulfill our desires or manipulate circumstances, we may succeed temporarily. We might attain our goals, secure that promotion, or win that argument. But here’s the catch: anything gained through deceit carries a hidden cost – the cost of integrity.
Imagine a tree that appears lush and vibrant on the outside, but its roots are rotten and decaying. Similarly, any victory achieved by deceiving others leaves a trail of bitterness in its wake. The satisfaction we feel is fleeting, quickly replaced by a gnawing sense of guilt, fear of exposure, and the erosion of trust from those we’ve misled.
The bitter aftertaste of deception not only affects our relationships with others but also damages our relationship with God. Remember, God values truthfulness and integrity. Here’s another proverb which reinforces this:
Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD,— Proverbs 12:22 (NKJV)
But those who deal truthfully are His delight.
As challenging as it may seem, honesty and integrity are always the best policy. Choosing the path of truth, even when it’s difficult, not only maintains our character but also safeguards our relationships and our walk with God. When faced with the allure of deception, remember the words of Proverbs 20:17. Consider the long-term consequences and the bitterness that deception brings, and let your actions be guided by the values that honor both God and your fellow human beings.