Proverbs 18:17 – Any story sounds true until someone tells the other side and sets the record straight. (TLB)
Proverbs 20:27 – A man's conscience is the Lord's searchlight exposing his hidden motives. (TLB)
Proverbs 21:6 – Dishonest gain will never last, so why take the risk? (TLB)
John Stuart's Surprise Package devotional of June 22, 2008, was about his receiving a package from Canada, following his Christian Candy devotional of May 6, 2008, wherein he divulged his love of chocolate.
The "surprise package" contained chocolate and had been sent anonymously. Upon reading about it, a relative wrote to me guessing that it had been I who had sent it. She said it sounded like something I would do, and while it is something I'd love to have thought of doing, I did not — but I could just as easily have taken the credit, for how might she have known otherwise? She may or may not have ever found out the truth, but I would have had to live with the lie on my conscience.
A similar situation happened to me many years ago, when I discovered that the professor for a counselling course I was taking had a penchant for polar bear figurines. I bought a little one, and during lunch one day while a couple of us were in the classroom, I slipped it onto her desk. When class resumed after lunch, the professor spied the figurine and delightedly declared she knew who it had come from and thanked a woman in the front row, who happily took the credit for giving our prof the gift.
While my classmate beside me was outraged and wanted to set the record straight, I asked her not to, for to me, it wasn't important who gave the gift, only that it was given. Perhaps the woman who took the credit needed recognition of some kind. At any rate, it was she who would have to live with it on her conscience.
These two incidents are classic examples of today's Scripture verses from Proverbs. Any story can sound true until the truth comes out; and dishonesty doesn't pay, so why take the risk, because, although we may not be exposed openly, our Lord has given us a conscience upon which our dishonesty will prey.
Prayer: Lord, we pray that with You, we will stay on the straight and narrow during those times when it might be easy to take credit for things we haven't done. We thank You for our God-given conscience, Your searchlight — and may it always be our guide. In Your name we pray and give thanks for this day. Amen.