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May 18, 1993

Crime Doesn’t Pay

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He who is pregnant with evil and conceives trouble gives birth to disillusionment. PSALM 7:14
There is a common perception that getting ahead in the marketplace often requires compromise of character. Fudge the numbers. Shade the truth. Hide the facts. Ethics give way to self-interest or corporate interests—or both. And reality tells us that such methods often produce results: a promotion, a deal with a new client, or a windfall of opportunity for the company.
The Scriptures teach that there is a price to pay for such shortcuts, of course— if not here, then in eternity. David speaks of it in Psalm 7 when he says, “He who digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit he has made. The trouble he causes recoils on himself; his violence comes down on his own head” (vv. 15-16). That’s a pretty clear picture of the old expression “What goes around, comes around.”
The scary thing, though, is that it isn’t only nonbelievers who walk into this trap. Followers of Jesus are no strangers to temptation. And while Jesus paid the ultimate price for our sins, we know we must answer for our actions. Furthermore, we know that when we are walking in sin, we are walking out of fellowship with Christ. That’s why Jesus has us pray that God would “lead us not into temptation.” He wants us to avoid the trap.
David describes the trap in Psalm 7:14. First, you are “pregnant with evil” (ungodly desires); second, you “conceive trouble” (you act on those desires in a sinful way); and third, you give “birth to disillusionment” (you die to your sins). James uses the same analogy in James 1:13—15, explaining that although temptations are inevitable, they are not from God and can be resisted with God’s help.
Have you been resisting temptation lately? Your effectiveness as a steward of all God has given you depends on how well you manage to stay out of the trap.

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