Have you ever stepped on a ketchup packet from a fast food restaurant? Splat! Out comes the contents in all their glory. You can’t really predict exactly how that ketchup is going come out, what pattern it will make. You know your foot is going down, but after that it is a mystery.
Our texts today talk about what we say with several different word pictures. As we read we can see the contrast between the righteous and the fool, a constant theme here in Proverbs.
Verses 18 and 19 bring to mind the small child with mommy’s makeup all over her face. “Did you get into mommy’s makeup?” “No.” Do you know who did?” And on goes the story. She begins to weave a tale that gets more and more unbelievable with every spin. And all the while, the evidence is right on her face.
Hatred can’t be hidden forever. It will squirt out at an unplanned moment. It often takes the form of slander, saying negative things about the other person in order to color their reputation. And the more words that get spoken, the more the sin is multiplied. Lies lead to more lies. It is better to just shut up and accept the consequences.
In contrast to these lies, the righteous speak words that have great value, a value that will last. You can bank on the words of a righteous person. They won’t change their story over time. Don’t you hate it when you count on someone’s word and then they let you down!
A righteous person nurtures those around them. Their words build up those who hear. This is in contrast to the drain that liars bring everywhere they go. Since you can’t trust what they say, you have to constantly make alternative plans, making up for their deficiency. This is especially true in the lives of addicts and abusers. Their lives become disappointment after disappointment. Little league games, concerts, birthdays, anniversaries, groceries, rent, utilities. Their word means nothing. It has no value.
Now, before you quit life, God has the power to redeem our lives. He paid the price so that we could truly start over and get it right this time. Today we can be honest with our words. But it will take the power of God to break the habit of lying. If you could do it yourself, you would have done it years ago. Ask for His help, and then step out and tell the truth each time you are tempted to lie. Pray that He will open your eyes to the lie before it exits your mouth.