Read: Proverbs 9:18
“Stolen water is refreshing; food eaten in secret tastes the best!” says the woman named Folly to those who lack judgment. But they don’t know about all the skeletons in her closet; that all her guests end up in hell. (Free Translation)
What Solomon is really talking about here is wickedness in general and its hypnotic hold on the human soul. Even good and godly people struggle against the gravitational pull of sin. Let’s be honest—sin is attractive. Obviously, that’s why it works. The Bible even talks about “enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season.” (Hebrews 11:25) That’s how intoxicating it is.
But the same verse in Hebrews also speaks of the faithful who choose the alternative to these “short-lived seasonal pleasures of sin.” It is this power to choose, along with the exercise of choice that is the single greatest difference between a wise and God-honoring person and a fool who is especially susceptible to sin. Proverbs 9 is really God’s special invitation to wise living, but the entrance to wisdom requires a very particular discipline that enables a person to “just say no” even when sin appears so attractive. What is that discipline? Simply this: It is to look before you leap. It is to stop before you act and do what might seem like a very unusual thing to some people: think! It is to call a time out in any given set of options, large and small, and consider the consequence before committing to an action.
Now for some people, this may seems to come more naturally than it does for others. But as with any discipline, coming naturally has nothing to do with it. Rather, organic effort, intentional living, ruthless commitment to godliness and choosing deliberately are the mainstays enabling wise people to make great decisions in life.
You have that power, you know! You have the same choices that truly wise people seem to always make. Whether it has to do with handling your finances, managing your sexual desires, monitoring your speech, or controlling your impulses in any other issue big or small, you can exert the same level of thought, practice the same consideration of the consequences, call the same time out simply to look before you leap. And if you do—or should I say, as you do—you will the God-ordained outcome Solomon describes in verse 11:
“It’s through Lady Wisdom that your life will deepen,
the years of your life ripen and wisdom will permeate your life.”
Your Assignment, Should You Choose To Accept It:
Given the tractor beam pull of sin in your life, simply offer this prayer to God each day (and perhaps throughout the day): “Lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from the Evil One.” It must be a really great prayer in God’s ear, after all, his Son taught us to pray it.