7It makes good sense
to obey the Law of God,
but you disgrace your parents
if you make friends
with worthless nobodies.
8If you make money by charging
high interest rates,
you will lose it all to someone
who cares for the poor.
9God cannot stand the prayers
of anyone who disobeys
10By leading good people to sin,
you dig a pit for yourself,
but all who live right
will have a bright future.
Newton’s third law of motion is “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction,” a fact so commonly experienced in the physical world that it is easy to think that it also an experience in the spiritual world. For example, if I take from the poor in some manner I will have wealth taken from me, or some other disaster will befall me. Or, if I am a companion of gluttons I will eventually have a heart attack as punishment, or if I lead the upright in an evil path, eventually God will create a trap for me.
But the spiritual world it is not quite like that. There is, at the very end of time, a judgment, and even now in the world there are consequences for our actions. But the here and now consequences also serve as warnings, briefly offering opportunities for repentance and an experience of grace.
Are you tempted to chase around with those who party, party, party? Perhaps for a moment you might think about your family and its reputation which, like it or not, is partly tied to you. But even more, think about the reputation of your heavenly Father. This is a moment for repentance.
And if you are about to do some small, mean, business deals that harm people who were not as clever as you, just remember what is going to happen to all that wealth. It is not going into the next world with you, that is for sure. Hopefully a child who is a better person than you will inherit it and do some good with it, but you will have forever lost that opportunity. Think about this and reverse course.
Are you plotting against an upright person, are you intent on luring them into your corrupt ways? Remember, your ability to pray will fade and your eternal inheritance will disappear. If God in his mercy gives you a brief moment of insight, take advantage of it and turn from wickedness.
Consider today how you are living. Be discerning, abandon bad company, be watchful to help the poor, keep your ear open to learn wisdom and lead others into right paths. A good inheritance will await you in eternity.
Father in heaven, by your grace I will turn from following people who live to help themselves and who harm others, and be a person who helps and builds up others.