8 Whoever plots evil
will be known as a schemer.
9 The schemes of folly are sin,
and people detest a mocker.
Whatever a person hopes to gain by plotting evil will come at the cost of his reputation. Yet the one who conducts himself with integrity gains the trust of others, and sets himself up for great opportunity. Each of these paths is self perpetuating, evil begets evil and goodness begets goodness. Do not forget “that every little action of the common day makes or unmakes character, and that therefore what one has done in the secret chamber one has some day to cry aloud on the housetops.”
“The schemes of folly are sin, and people detest a mocker.” The fool thinks he can get things without earning them. He seeks wealth by deception rather than honesty; respect through boasting rather than achieving; achievement by cheating rather than hard work. But what he has gained is never secure, and it has cost him much more than he expected. Deception has cost him his ability to trust, boasting has cost him his self regard, cheating has cost him both honor and competence. He becomes cynical, doubting everything and hoping in nothing. He detests himself and is detested by others, he has fallen into the pit which he himself has dug.