Antoine de Saint Exupery said...

He who would travel happily must travel light.

Proverbs 1:10, 17, 18 My son, if sinful men entice you, do not give in to them. How useless to spread a net where every bird can see it! These men lie in wait for their own blood; they ambush only themselves!

As children we often tried to catch birds in a trap. It was fun and we often wondered how a bird could be so stupid to be caught. We now know that the birds’ craving for simple food drove them to walk into the trap.

Often that is the problem with sin. We are driven by our instincts, not by the Spirit of God. The context of these verses in Proverbs 1:10-19 is crime. People take other people's belongings. There are people, sinful people, trying to entice us to steal with them.

You might say that you are not a thief. Theft, however, is much more than taking someone’s possessions. Sometimes it is very subtle. Sometimes our business transactions are not completely honest, because one has to be tough in the business world. Ethics does not count where we make money! Sometimes we pay the people working for us less than we should, because we want more for ourselves. Friends tell us that this is the ‘going rate’ for this type of work. We agree because it suits our selfish desires. However, the more important question is whether it is in accordance with divine wisdom, namely fairness and justice.

What is true of theft is of course true of any sin. Are we controlled by our urges, desires and selfishness or by the wisdom of God? Do we walk into the trap with open eyes? If you and I were once touched by the Spirit of God and have learned the wisdom of the Spirit, we cannot be blind to the traps of life that the devil and sinful people set for us. When you reject the authority of God in your life, you often reject the teaching of God and his life rules for an orderly society.

Do you see the traps? Do not give in to the pull of so-called friends and colleagues who want to rob you of the wisdom of God! Do not make choices by which you clearly reject and disregard the authority of God and His will for your life.

It is not just birds that are caught in traps. Do not be foolish and walk with open eyes into a lifestyle that may cost you your life (1:17-19). We will only be happy if we rather leave the baggage of our sins at the cross rather than deliberately choosing for it.

Spirit of God, deliver me from the foolishness of walking into the trap of sin with open eyes, in Jesus’ name. Amen.