The Meal’s a Sham

Proverbs 23:6-8 — 6 Don’t accept a meal from a tightwad; don’t expect anything special. 7 He’ll be as stingy with you as he is with himself; he’ll say, “Eat!  Drink!” but won’t mean a word of it. 8 His miserly serving will turn your stomach when you realize the meal’s a sham (MSG).

Another version says not to eat the bread of a person with a hard, grudging, and envious eye (AMP). Have you ever had an experience with someone who seemed pleasant on the surface, but they really had some sort of personal vendetta against you?

Like the tightwad described in the passage above, this type of person tells you what he thinks you want to hear in order to take advantage of you. “Eat and drink!” he says, but he doesn’t mean it. His desire is to gain your trust and get you to open up. Then he uses what is said to manipulate you or others.

These kinds of people are unavoidable. In fact, your current relationships likely consist of a tightwad or two. There have been numerous people in my life that I could only get so close to because I knew they did not really care about me or my family. Their motives were self-seeking, but many times I did not realize what their true intentions were until I was burned by them.

There are also others who are nice to you so you will be nice to them. Their generosity has nothing to do with a desire to meet your needs; they’re just “fishing for compliments.” They want you to shower them with praise, but they resent the fact they’re being nice to you.

My goal today is not for you to become a cynic, but rather for you to use discernment. The majority of people are not out to get you, but some really are. Do not allow yourself to be enticed by them. Proverbs 23:8 teaches that being taken advantage of will make you sick. While I’ve found this to be true, relationships are a gift from God. Invest yourself in them wisely.

Proverbs 11:9 — With their words, the godless destroy their friends, but knowledge will rescue the righteous (NLT).

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