Today’s blog, written by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Church in San Diego, was first posted on November 28, 2014.
Devotional Thought for Today
“Confession of an ex-‘Thief’ Turned AMI Pastor”
“Food gained by fraud tastes sweet, but one ends up with a mouth full of gravel.”
In this proverb, the writer uses a metaphor about bread and gravel and compares them to a life of deceit and fraud. Lying and taking advantage of others through fraud may seem sweet at first, but those lies will always catch up; and eventually one finds himself choking on a mouth full of dirt and gravel. What seemed to be fun and sweet turns to bitterness and even fatal.
As a young child, I discovered the cabinet where my parents gathered loose change. I knew that it was wrong to take change from the cabinet, yet the ability to purchase candy on my way home from school lured me into “stealing.” I began with just a few coins, but as the days passed, I began to take more. One evening, my parents asked me about the missing coins, but I easily lied that I had any knowledge.
Those days were some of the “sweetest” days for me. Each day, on the way home from school, I satisfied my cravings with all kinds of candy and snacks. It was not merely the sweetness of the candy; rather, getting-away-with-it was what made the candy even sweeter. I began to take more and more coins each time, and began to share my “sweet” times with friends who walked home with me, generously buying them candy.
One day, I took more than I could spend. So as it was time for me to go home, I realized that I still had a pocket full of coins and knew that I could not return home with them or I would be caught red-handed. Neither could I just throw them away since they were of great value to me. So, I gave the rest of the coins to my friend telling him to hold on to it for a day. Well, that brilliant plan did not go so well; my friend was confronted by his mother when he came home with a pocket full of coins, so he decided to tell the truth. After the phone call from his mother to my father, I received the discipline of my life.
Lying never works in the long run. In fact, it’s a lie to think that lying will actually help you. You may think that your lie helped you in some way, but in reality, it’s only made matters worse. Practice honesty and you will gain character. Speak truthfully and you will save yourself from life’s troubles.
Prayer: Lord, I repent for the lies that I have used for my advantage. Help me to live in step with the Spirit of Truth and speak truthfully to others. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 13
Lunch Break Study
Read Acts 5:1-11: Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. 3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. 7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?” “Yes,” she said, “that is the price.” 9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” 10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.
Questions to Consider
- According to this narrative, who is the source of all lies?
- While it was obvious that Ananias and Sapphira lied to the apostles, whom were they also lying to?
- Do you believe that it might actually be God’s grace at work when you are caught lying?
- Peter asks rhetorically, “How is it that Satan has so filled your heart?” Jesus once called Satan the “father of lies” (John 8:44). Satan uses lies as a weapon against God’s people.
- Ananias and Sapphira did not fully know or understand, but Peter makes it clear that they lied “to the Holy Spirit” (v. 3) and to God (v. 4).
Were you in a situation where you could have lied today? If so, how did you respond? If you have been caught in a vicious cycle of lying to others, ask the Lord to forgive you and set you free from living a life towards destruction.