These are two sins that can ruin souls. Most people are involved in both of these at some point in their lives.
1. The truth will set you free
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
The truth does set us free from sin.
Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.
Q: What happens to truthful lips? [They endure]
What about liars? [They don't last long]
C: If you want to esablish long, lasting relationships and enduring success in your life, be sure to tell the truth. Then people will trust you and you'll develop a reputation as an honest person as the years go on.
Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value a man who speaks the truth.
Q: If you want to succeed in your job, what does this verse suggest? [Tell the truth]
Why do employers value employees who tell the truth? [Because then they can trust them with money. They don't have to closely supervise you, because they know you are honest]
23 Like a coating of glaze over earthenware are fervent lips with an evil heart.
24 A malicious man disguises himself with his lips, but in his heart he harbors deceit.
25 Though his speech is charming, do not believe him, for seven abominations fill his heart.
26 His malice may be concealed by deception, but his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
In verse 23 he explains that when we act fired-up but we have sin in our heart, we are like a cheap clay pot covered with glaze. It may look good, but it is easily broken and destroyed. Many people try to pretend to be spiritual and strong but they are just pretending. But God sees their lies. Let's make sure that none of us are this kind of disciple. Let's be truthful and open.
He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
Q: What does this say about confessing sin? [We should always be open. Hiding our sins never leads to victory]
C: Think about your own life. Are all your sins out in the open. Are you ready to die tonight? Have you really honest with all you have done?
2. Avoid loose talk
18 Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows
19 is a man who deceives his neighbor and says, "I was only joking!"
Is it good to say things and then say, "I was only joking"? [No]
Why not? [Because the joke is actually a lie that may make others upset or make them do wrong things]
C: Be careful what you say. People will listen.
C: Loose talk also can occur a lot in business. People lie all the time to each other in business. "The boss is out". "The cheque is in the mail". "We'll pay you next week". "The supplier went to strike". "My grandfather is sick, so I must go home".
Lying is not a good way to make money.
What a man desires is unfailing love ; better to be poor than a liar.
Q: Why does he say that it is better than a liar? [Because sometimes by lying we can make money. But it is not good to make money this way. It is better to tell the truth and temporarily lose money by telling the truth. In the long run we will be blessed]
A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.
Q: Why does money made through deception not last? [Because the people who were cheated will soon want their money back and they will give you trouble. It is foolish to try and trick others to make money. Work honestly instead]
Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of gifts he does not give.
Q: Have you ever known a boaster, someone who claims he's given things he hasn't?
C: Let never boast about things we haven't done.
3. Lies lead death
A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin.
Q: What do we learn about lying here? [The person who lies actually hates the person he is speaking with]
C: Think about it. The people you lie to are the ones you hate. "But I love them, that's why I lie".
No, if you really love someone you will speak the complete truth to them. Lies always hurt people in the end. The truth comes out and trust is destroyed. Let's not lie.
A false witness will perish, and whoever listens to him will be destroyed forever.
C: Trouble comes to him who lies and to those who listen to lies.
Q: Have you ever gotten into trouble by believing someone who lied to you?
16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.
C: Two of the seven things God hates are lies and false witnessing. Just as God hates murder, pride and drunkeness so he hates lying.
4. Keep away from sexual temptation
6 At the window of my house I looked out through the lattice.
7 I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who lacked judgment.
8 He was going down the street near her corner, walking along in the direction of her house
9 at twilight, as the day was fading, as the dark of night set in.
10 Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.
Q: What mistake did this young man make? [He was walking down the road near to where he would meet this woman. He knew she might be there]
C: We should not even get close to sexual sin. We should stay away from situations where might sin sexually.
Q: What are some situations that are dangerous sexually? [Going to a movie alone with someone of the opposite sex. Spending time in a room or flat alone with someone. Going to a party where a lot of sexual activity is going on. Hanging around with guys who eve-tease girls. Sleeping in the same house with someone of the opposite sex (other than your family). Travelling by bus / train sitting next to someone of the opposite sex. Seeing old boyfriend / girlfriend again]
C: Let us make sure to keep away from sexual temptation.
Look at what this woman does and says :
Proverbs 7:13, 18-20
13 She took hold of him and kissed him and with a brazen face she said:
18 Come, let's drink deep of love till morning; let's enjoy ourselves with love!
19 My husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey.
20 He took his purse filled with money and will not be home till full moon."
C: You can see how attractive this lady made immorality look. She acted like it was great and there was no risk. That is how immorality seems: "just like in the movies, we'll have love".
C: But let us see what happened next.
21 With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk.
22 All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose
23 till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life.
24 Now then, my sons, listen to me; pay attention to what I say.
25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths.
26 Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng.
27 Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death.
C: What happened to this man? [He was led astray by her]
Why is immorality so destructive to our lives? [Because we start lying and we get more and more caught up in immorality. It is like deer stepping into a trap. By the time we are in the trap, it is too late to escape]
C: Stay away from secret flirtation with the opposite sex. If you are interested in getting married, talk to your discipler and openly arrange a relationship. But be very careful about spending time alone together. It can ruin your soul.
The points we discussed above can save your soul. And if you teach others, they can save their marriage, their jobs and their souls too. Remember the truth will set you free, we must avoid loose talk, realise that lies lead to death and keep away from sexual temptation.
These points spell TALK. The way you talk determines where your soul will go. The challenge this week : get together with your discipler and confess all the sins you've done recently. Also tell anything from the past you've never talked about.