Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 21:6
"The acquisition of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor, the pursuit of death"
This proverb reminds us that how one achieves financial security is more important than that one achieves financial security. In our day and age, many people have as their number one goal in life to have lots of money. This should not be anyone's number one goal as it will destroy you in the pursuit. This proverb focuses on how you get along in the world; how you pursue financial security.
Solomon uses the phrase "the acquisition of treasure" as a way of saying how you accumulate the funds to build a life. Treasures were anything beyond what you needed to live every day. By this definition almost everyone in America has accumulated treasure.
God is trying to tell us that there is something more important than getting material possessions and wealth. The something that is more important is relationships. If you gain what you want to gain but there is no one with you to enjoy it with, have you really gained anything?
Solomon points out that if you have to use a lying tongue to accomplish a deal or win a big contract or become wealthy, then you are pursuing death. This is a fascinating phrase and a fascinating observation on Solomon's part. He noticed that those who were dishonest in their career path as an integral part of how they lived became a deceptive person; and while they may have accomplished their financial goals, they had a deadly pall covering their life. They became deceptive in their whole life. People separated from them and they were not really able to connect to others because who could really trust them. So while they accomplished the goal they thought they needed to live, they couldn't really enjoy life because their deceptions put a film, a space, a gap between them and others. There is also the possibility that they became deceptive as a matter of course and did not even know their real self any more. They did not realize that when they pursued financial security through deception, they were putting themselves on an island cut off from truly deep relationships.
Understand that Solomon is talking about lying as a way of life. I remember one woman who used lying her whole life and found that she was cut off from the relationships she valued most. She needed to confess her sin, memorize significant numbers of Scripture about honesty, and work hard at being "cash register honest" in order to repair the damaged relationships in her life.