Daily Wisdom

Meditations on the Book of Proverbs

3 For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey,

   and her speech is smoother than oil;

4 but in the end she is bitter as gall,

   sharp as a double-edged sword.

5 Her feet go down to death;

   her steps lead straight to the grave.

6 She gives no thought to the way of life;

   her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.

 The adulterous woman represents all temptation. She is beautiful at first glance, drawing you in with her lips. Just as with honey, those who seek her sweetness should expect to be stung. She is a smooth talker, appealing to your pride, promising easy pleasure with no mention of consequence. Yet as soon as you give in to her lies, she turns bitter.

 While at first she only spoke of pleasure, once you are caught she speaks only of your bondage. “There is no going back now,” she exaggerates, “you belong to me.” To fight temptation you must cut through her lies. When she promises pleasure, focus on  the trap. Don’t give up hope if you’ve been caught, escape by appealing to the one who rescues.

 “Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.” She invites you to walk with her, to be her companion. But where is she going? What use is companionship if it leads only to regret? Be prudent in choosing your paths, destination is far more important than companionship. Choose your companions by where they are going, not by where they are now. The imprudent person doesn’t plan to ruin his life, he just doesn’t plan not to. If you find yourself on the wrong path, the best thing you can do is turn back. Your old companions will mock you, but the path of shame is better than the path of death.

 “She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.” Follow temptation and she will take you in circles. You’ll find yourself in the same place over and over again, giving in to the same seductions, suffering the same consequences, becoming weaker each time. Abandon her with the strength you have left! Repent of your wanderings and give thought to where you are going! Authentic pleasure and enduring satisfaction are found on the way of life, but temptation only chases their mirage.

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