5 A false witness will not go unpunished,
and whoever pours out lies will not go free.
6 Many curry favor with a ruler,
and everyone is the friend of one who gives gifts.
7 The poor are shunned by all their relatives—
how much more do their friends avoid them!
Though the poor pursue them with pleading,
they are nowhere to be found.
Those who deceive set a trap for themselves, in which they will eventually be caught. Even if they are not found out, they are imprisoned by their own lies. The more one lies the less freedom he has to tell the truth. The liar is either ensnared in his own web or exposed and punished, misery threatens him from both sides. His best option is confession, along with its consequences. Have you been deceiving someone? Take courage, confess and come clean, free yourself from the pit you’ve dug.
“Many curry favor with a ruler, and everyone is the friend of one who gives gifts.” This also is a form of deceit, pretending you like someone because you hope to get something from them. Are you in a position of authority? Are you a generous person? Don’t be surprised at how easy it is to find friends. How can you discern the friendship from false? See who sticks with you through hard times, look for those who ask for nothing more than your friendship. The more you allow yourself to be flattered when things are going well, the more disappointed you will be when they’re not.
The poor have the advantage of knowing who their true friends are, though they are few and far between. Even the motives of their family are revealed to them. What advantage is to be gained by befriending someone in need? Yet the poor have something to offer, the way we treat them gives us insight into our own hearts. Do you envy those with more than you? The more you Interact with the poor, the more grateful you will be for what you have. Are you tempted by greed? Counteract it with generosity. “Be rich in good deeds, generous and willing to share, and you will establish a firm foundation for yourself in the coming age.”