Greed, Deceit, and Failure
April 13, 2006 • By Ed Wrather
But they lie in wait for their own blood, they lurk secretly for their own lives. So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; it takes away the life of its owners. - Proverbs 1:18-19.
For "he who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it." - 1 Peter 3:10-11.
Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. - 1 Peter 2:1-3.
In Missouri, Kris and Sarah Everson went to elaborate lengths to perpetrate a hoax in the hopes of obtaining money. The deceit involved was the claim of having six newborn babies. The couple had fake sonograms and a nursery had been prepared in their home along with photos of an apparently pregnant Sarah. The couple now says, "We’re sorry for everything we did. We didn’t mean to hurt anybody, we did it out of financial reasons."
Then, there is Heather Faria in Massachusetts who told her fellow teachers in 2003 that she had stomach cancer but could not afford to pay for treatment. Thirty thousand dollars was raised in donations to help pay for treatment for Heather. However, it was not true. She resigned from teaching last year and has pleaded guilty to several charges including, "gross fraud."
Heather and the Eversons fell into the trap that so many have fallen into with no way out. They were faced with a difficult financial situation and came up with plans that by deceitful means would solve their financial difficulties. At least, that was the plan. From their greed came a wrong decision to pursue the deceitful means. What has been the result? The result has been failure - massive failure, and it will take them years to recover, if ever. The Eversons have not yet been charged with violations of law but that is surely coming soon. Heather Faria has been charged and convicted. It is unlikely that she will ever be able to teach again with a felony conviction. Greed as the writer of Proverbs points out, "…takes away the life of its owners."
Even though it is difficult to face some of the financial and personal problems that we as human beings are able to get ourselves into - to choose the way of evil, the way of deceit is never the right way. Even those who may succeed in perpetrating their deceit still have to live with what they have done. They must continue their deceit - cover up and cover over continually. It never ends.
Peter reminds us that, "he who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it." Living life the right way must be pursued. It does not just happen. When tempted by greed to be deceitful instead pursue life because your life indeed is at stake.