6 The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.
6 A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare. (NIV)
I have worked with many dishonest people.
When I sold cell phones for a time, I worked with someone who was not afraid to stretch the truth to sell a phone.
“Of course you can set your own music as ringtones!” He would say for a device that does not play music.
“This phone will give you a signal everywhere you go!” He would say for an older device using old technology.
“You can return this anytime you want during your contract!” … Just not true after 30 days!
“I did not know you were their salesman!” He would say to the rest of us after putting a sale in his name.
Initially, he had great sales numbers. It looked like he was going to earn a great commission.
Unfortunately, most of his sales came back after customers realized they did not get what they wanted.
This meant his supposedly high commission was, in fact, quite low. Sometimes it was because the higher-ups in the company figured out he was stealing sales, and they would send the commission to those of us who earned them.
In Luke chapter 19, Jesus shares the parable of the minas, in which a nobleman travels and leaves his money in the care of some servants. Some grow his money while he is gone, but one simply hides it. Those who grew the money were given much responsibility, while the lazy one had everything taken away and given to the better servant.
In Matthew chapter seven, He shares that there will be many who speak and act in His name, but Jesus will tell them “I never knew you.” They are the ones who did everything for personal gain.
The reason these are all related is that in Matthew chapter 6, Jesus tells us to store up treasures in Heaven. We cannot store up treasures in Heaven if we lie through word and deed. If we do, all we think we have stored in Heaven, God will say “All the good you think you did is worthless, because it was a counterfeit.”
In this life or the next, we can lose everything through our dishonesty and selfishness.
Gracious God, forgive us of our deceitfulness and selfishness. Give us Your truth, and help us to be honest and grace-filled.