February 19, 2014 by Chris French
As you read Proverbs 1.8-19 you’ll Solomon setting up a scenario for his son. A large group of men approach him one day and they want him to be a part of their group. Their plan is to hide along the side of the road and as people pass they’ll jump out, kill the people and take all their belongings. Solomon warns his son against believing the lies these men tell him. You don’t have to look very closely to see thru them, at least the way Solomon tells it.
Yesterday we talked about the lie of instant gratification. They didn’t want to work for what they wanted so they took it by force, thinking the things they stole would make them happy. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works. This hole they’re trying to fill is actually a bottomless pit. It doesn’t matter how much they accumulate, they’re never going to be happy.
Another lie these men are trying to sell to Solomon’s son is that there will never be any repercussions for their actions. Proverbs 1.12 says that their plan is to swallow these people alive. This gang is so large that they will be able to kill the entire party they attack and have them buried before any could notice. They’re going to wipe away all trace of their murder, it’ll be like it never happened. Except, God is not mocked. Their escapades will not have escaped God’s notice and He will hold them accountable.
The final lie they will try to sell to Solomon’s son is the worth of what they’re going to steal. They’re going to tell him that it’s worth whatever you have to pay to get it. They had overvalued this world’s stuff! Solomon wanted to make sure his son knew better. Few things are worth paying what someone is asking for it, very few things are worth pay everything for. I seem to remember Jesus telling a story along those lines. Something about a man walking in a field and finding a priceless treasure so he sells everything he owns and buys the field that holds the treasure. Jesus said he was talking about heaven in that parable (Matthew 13.44). Be careful what you’re willing to sacrifice to get what this world has to offer. You may have bought into the lie Solomon warned his son about in Proverbs 1. Which brings us to a question: what lies do you believe about the sin you’re caught up in?
I’m sure you told yourself that after this last time of giving into this sin that you’re done with it and will never go back to it. I bet you’ve told yourself that you’ve covered your tracks and that no one will find out. You may have even thought to yourself that what you gain from this sin is worth what you have to pay for it. These lies aren’t just for roving bandits to tell promising converts. They’re also the lies we tell ourselves so we can continue our own killing spree. The problem is, like the men Solomon is referring to, we’re killing ourselves! Led away by our own desires we’re sprinting toward a trap we’ve laid for ourselves!
So how do you get out of this cycle?
First, you need to stop believing the lies. How many times have you called it quits on a particular sin? More than once? It’s time to take action. What habits lead you to that sin? What emotions are you dealing with prior to the sin? Do you commit this sin in a particular place or with specific people? Break the cycle.
Find the traces of your sin. No matter how completely you think you’ve cleaned up from it there’s still evidence. You’re guarded when people bring up a subject related to your sin. You have a tough time being open with people because there’s a good chance that somehow your sin will come up in conversation. Sin breaks relationships. It likes to hide in the darkness and it will make portions of your life dark so that it is never seen in public. There are traces of your sin and they’re making your life less than what it should be. Once you acknowledge that fact you’re going to be mad. Once you recognize that this sin has stolen a part of your life and made you guarded around people you should be open around your anger will motivate you to break the cycle.
Take an inventory of what this sin has taken from you. Maybe it’s hurt or even destroyed your marriage, maybe you’ve lost friendships because of it, maybe it’s taken everything from you. Sin takes. It destroys. That’s what it does. Give it long enough and it will take everything that is important to you. It may seem like it gives something to you, but that feeling is only temporary and then the need to go back to that sin comes again. You need to realize that this pet sin of yours isn’t worth what you’re paying for it. It’s time to pay to get rid of it! Find someone who doesn’t struggle with that particular sin and tell them to hold you accountable. Call them everyday if you need to. Be an open book to them. Start radically cleaning out your life. Get rid of all the negative influences that would pull you to this sin again. Dedicate yourself to holiness. Spend a lot of time with God. Be genuine. Confess this sin to trusted believers who love you. Drag it out into the light kicking and screaming, but do it! Break the cycle!
This week on the blog we’re looking forward to this Sunday’s lesson. We’re in a great series right now called Straight Talk from Proverbs and each week Kerry speaks from a different Proverb. We’ve covered Adultery from Proverbs 5, Relationships from Proverbs 3 and Trust from Proverbs 3. This week the topic is Unjust Gain from Proverbs 1. If you missed the first three in this series I would highly recommend you taking the time to listen to them this week. The links have been provided.