"Better to be poor and honest than rich and dishonest." (Proverbs 19:1 LB)
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 been 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 even 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, remember, God has said that he will meet your needs if you maintain your integrity.
Talk About It
The dishonest moments of our lives are often found in the details. Take stock of the details of your life today — where you spend your pennies — and be honest with yourself and God as you evaluate your integrity.
Is there anything you do in the quiet and darkness of an office or your home that you would not want anyone to know about in the light?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional ©2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.