When I was young my brother, a friend of ours, and I decided it would be fun to try and steal. We went to the local grocery store and stuffed some candy in our pockets. In all of our brilliance, we got caught by the undercover security guard. They had the police so kindly escort us to the police station in the back of a squad car, took our fingerprints, and really scared us! Looking back, I know this was overkill for $2 worth of candy. The point was for us to learn a lesson, not to actually throw us in jail. We went before a judge and actually had to write an essay on what we learned from the entire experience. I still recall one of the things the judge told me, she said that it was good that I got caught stealing something so small. How could that be good? I was in a ton of trouble! She said once you get away with stealing something, you start going after bigger items. The more you get away with, the more risky you become. Getting caught with $2 of candy is much better than getting caught with someone else’s car!
Evidently, this judge had some wisdom. This same wisdom is shared in proverbs 1:19.
Such are the paths of all who make profit dishonestly; it takes the lives of those who receive it.
Those who steal, cheat, embezzle, swindle, or deceieve others will end up being taken over by greed. They start small and continue to take more and more. Their life becomes driven by filling your need of greed. Then, at some point, they get caught. Everything they have spent their life doing, was wasted. Greed took their life.
Don’t let greed and dishonesty take over your life. Don’t be a slave to it. Stop while it is small, so it doesn’t grow into something big.