The Tangled Web of Deceit in Our Hearts
Proverbs 20: 17 Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel. (NKJV)
How do we go about our business in our lives? How do we conduct our finances, our dealings, and our behavior? God as always is infinitely concerned about our character. A lot of times we read verses such as Proverbs 20:17 and think that it is only about money. How we handle ourselves in relation to money is infinitely important to God as well but not because of the money itself but because of the state of our heart.
For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. 1Timothy 6: 10 (NLT)
Note that it is not money itself that is the root of all kinds of evil but rather the love of money. Again, the position of your heart. But Proverbs 20:17 deals with so much more. It deals with deception in our daily lives and walks, not just how we handle finances. If we operate under false pretenses and motives then in the end, we will be chewing on gravel. Such a descriptive way for God to get His point across! The deception may taste sweet at first. But in the end, a mouthful of gravel.
The early church in the Book of Acts gives us some insight into deception in our lives. This is how the early church was described:
All the believers were united in heart and
mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared
everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of
the Lord Jesus, and God's great blessing was upon them all. There were no needy
people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and
bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need. For instance, there
was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means "Son of
Encouragement"). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the
The Acts Chapter Four church. All believers united in heart and mind. No one in need. Everyone taken care of. No agendas and secret maneuverings. No politics and corruption. Well, at least until Chapter 5: