A rousing conversation around the coffee table at Fitch’s Store yielded yet another ‘witticism’. We were discussing the deceptive practices of some salespeople. Using misleading information and glib speech, they press to make a sale sometimes at the expense of integrity. Local sage and ‘Carriage Master’ Jerry Allender offered this astute observation: “Ill-got amounts to naught”.
This little morsel of folk wisdom speaks a powerful truth. People who resort to unscrupulous means to gain advantage over others will not prosper over time. While some appear to enjoy ill-gotten gains for the short term, sooner or later there is a price to pay. Numerous scriptures from both Old and New Testaments provide valuable insights:
- “The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death” (Proverbs 21:6, ESV).
- “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle” (Proverbs 23:4-5, NIV).
- “Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors” (Proverbs 1:19, ESV) .
- “Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit, but righteousness delivers from death” (Proverbs 10:2, ESV).
- “And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15, ESV).
There is likely no other area of human endeavor where real scrutiny must be exercised than finance. The Apostle Paul’s words to Timothy are likely the best known scripture of all concerning money: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:10, NKJV). The highest level of honesty and integrity must be observed in our financial dealings.
Jesus asks, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26, NKJV)
~ Brother Roy