by Rick Warren
Better to be poor and honest than rich and dishonest. Proverbs 19:1 (LB)
“Sometimes the pressure to keep up is so overwhelming that we, even as believers, are often tempted to compromise our ethics.”
God doesn’t bless dishonesty. Proverbs 16:11 says, “The Lord demands fairness in every business deal.” (LB) That includes wages, sales, and taxes. If you want God’s blessing on your finances, you’ve got to be honest. You can’t rip people off.
Why? Because Jesus said, “What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his soul?” (Matthew 16:26)
“The blessing of the Lord brings wealth and He adds no trouble to it.” (Proverbs 10:22 NIV) Have you ever known someone who made money, but it just brought them trouble? Profit made dishonestly always brings trouble. Always.
If you are dishonest with others, it will be returned to you. If you think you haven’t got caught, the clock is still ticking. The game is still playing; the judgment is still out. You cannot mock God and get away with it. Whatever you sow, you will inevitably reap.
Sometimes the pressure to get ahead — or just the pressure to keep up — is so overwhelming that we, even as believers, are often tempted to compromise our ethics. Maybe we do a little shading of the truth in order to make a buck. Maybe we overvalue something or maybe we just don’t tell somebody what’s wrong with it when we’re selling it to them.
Maybe we take a deduction on our taxes that really isn’t there. Or maybe we just don’t tell the truth in a situation. Why? Because the draw to make a buck is so intense in our lives that many times we forget.
The decision to do what is right and trust God is not a once-for-all decision. It is a daily moment-by-moment decision. But God has said that he will meet your needs if you maintain your integrity.