I love to watch crime dramas on television. However, there are a few details that always puzzle me.

For instance, when cops interrogate a suspect, they will often say, “Give us the address where we can find John Doe and we’ll pretend like this never happened.”

I’m always amazed how criminals can recite the exact addresses of all their constituents off the top of their heads.

Similarly, I think it is interesting that after going through multiple burner phones, criminals are able to reach all of their contacts immediately. Do the new burners come pre-programmed with their contact’s numbers? If so, how can they know the numbers for all the new burner phones their contacts are using as well?

Like I said, puzzling. I guess the criminal mind knows no bounds.

In a strange way, many television shows today provoke us to root for the criminal. We anxiously watch to see how they will ingeniously fool law enforcement and escape this week’s dilemma.

This is not reality. In real life, dishonest gain, manipulation, and deceit lead to heartache, punishment, and ultimately death.

Proverbs 1:18-19 rightly warns:

“these men lie in wait for their own blood;

they set an ambush for their own lives.

Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain;

it takes away the life of its possessors.”

Here, Solomon explains that all dishonest activity serves to set an ambush for the life of the person who practices such a lifestyle. The harder this person works toward unjust gain, the greater the consequences that await. Ultimately, Solomon explains, it takes their life.

While this may call to mind vast criminal enterprises, villainous gangsters, and mafia figure; this passage is just as applicable for the businessman manipulating numbers to avoid greater taxes, the young college student buying copies of tests to cheat their way to a passing grade, the friend who manipulates to get their own way, or even the pastors who inflates the attendance numbers to impress colleagues.

No matter the sin, our dishonest actions fueled by selfishness and pride lead to death (Romans 3:23). Only Jesus can transform the wicked heart to love truth, desire honest relationships, and seek the welfare of others above our own interests.

Christ calls us to cease from our own plans to reign victorious in life, and trust His life to find victory through His reign. Simply put, we must turn away from our sin and turn to Christ by faith, trusting Him alone for the forgiveness of sin. In that moment, even the vilest offender, will receive Christ’s righteousness and favor with God.

The mystery of Christ’s power to save is far greater than the plot of any crime drama. And, although that message may never make it to your television screen, it is vitally important that it makes it into your heart.