Barney, the mouse, found a peculiar device under a cabinet. The young rodent decided to push it out from under the cabinet for a better look.
He didn't know what it was. But he had an idea what it could be. He scurried back to the nest to get his family and friends.
"Come see!" he squeaked. Everyone followed the excited mouse. When they arrived at the peculiar device, they all gasped.
"Where did you find that?" asked his brother.
"I didn't find it," snapped Barney, "I made it."
"Wow! What is it?" asked Mikey, one of Barney's friends.
Barney hesitated, "It's a --- um ---it's a spring-a-popper!"
"What does it do?" inquired Aunt Betty.
"Well," answered Barney, making it up as he went along. "You jump on that yellow thing there and that spring in the middle pops you high up in the sky."
"Cool!" Mikey was impressed. "Can I try it?"
"Sure," said Barney.
"Wait a minute," interrupted Barney's dad. "Have you tested this 'spring-a-ma-jig' to make sure it works?"
"Of course!" Barney lied again. "Watch this!"
Barney's lies were so believable that he even convinced himself. He cleared a path to get a good running start, ran as fast as he could, jumped high to get a good bounce off the yellow thing, and...
The spring-a-popper sprung in reverse. Instead of lofting Barney high into the air, it pinned him permanently to the yellow thing.
Barney's "spring-a-popper" was really a mouse trap.*
Acts 5 tells the story of Ananias and his attempt to deceive others. He died because he lied. He, too, was caught in his own trap.
When we attempt to deceive others we usually end up like Barney and Ananias -- deceiving ourselves, becoming entangled in our own deception, and paying a price for it.
"Father, guide my heart away from all temptations to deceive."
*No animals were actually harmed in the writing of this devotional.