September 25 – Truth and Consequences

Men do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is hungry; Proverbs 6:29 AMP

When I got mad and hit my good friend James one day in the hallway of our high school for teasing just a little too much, I went to the office and spent a couple of days at home. It didn’t matter what James did at that point, the bulk of the consequences fell on my shoulders. He talked, but I struck!

Today’s Proverbs gives demands on thievery. Suffice it to say, theft is a universal action that can be carried out in a multitude of ways. And even when it is a result of hunger pains, there is still a just requirement for repercussion and restitution.

When I say I will meet you at a certain time and I don’t, I just stole some time if I didn’t first let you know I would be late. (OUCH!) And that means if you decide to lock the door and go on about your day, or fire me (like one of my bosses did), what can I say? “I apologize and I understand. May I have a second chance, please?” Maybe…

It’s sobering, but so necessary for a generation of us who are at times clueless of this simple profound law of conduct toward our fellow man. There is mercy and grace woven within, and we all do well to remember this during our journey. Maybe then we won’t be tempted to require a “pound of flesh” instead of fair acceptance of personal responsibility.

But if he is found out, he must restore seven times [what he stole]; he must give the whole substance of his house [if necessary—to meet his fine]. Proverbs 6:30 AMP

Verse thirty does apply. But weigh it with Jesus’ reaction to the woman caught sleeping with a married man (John 8:1-11). Some may know it, but the rest of us do well to search and seize it. May we balance the consequences with truth.

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