Proverbs 16:29

A man of violence entices his neighbor
and leads him in a way that is not good.

First the violent man must entice his neighbor. Somehow he must win his neighbor over, pretending to offer something pleasurable. How does he do that? The neighbor must either be completely deceived into thinking that he is being offered something honorably good, or his sinful desires must be stirred. Thus, we must be doubly guarded. There is the enticement of the magazine covers as we walk by the stands appealing to our lust. We must be on our guard not to yield to such temptation. There is also the enticement to help someone who seems to be in need yet really is taking advantage of our kindness to take from us or assist him in doing wrong.

Once the enticement works, the second part of leading in the wrong way becomes relatively easy. If our sinful desires are being fulfilled we will follow with no resistance and even keep following when we come under conviction. Shame or desperation may keep us following the violent man who has taken advantage of us. What then may we do? Throw ourselves at the feet of Jesus Christ. Call out for mercy. Turn to his people, especially his shepherds, for help. Do what you must. For the way of the violent man leads to destruction. It is not good for the soul, nor is it good for happiness and a meaningful life. It wrecks homes and relationships. It can lead to public shame as well as private shame and despair.

Turn to your Savior and confess to others who will come alongside you in the name of Christ to help come back to the path of the Way.

© 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church.

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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org