In this world that thrives on deception, honesty is a fresh and rare quality that so very few still possess. And many who think that they are honest may actually be deceiving themselves, because they have become so accustomed to stealing, lying and cheating. I owe many thanks to my pastor for pointing out these valuable truths.
How so? By stealing time from our bosses. When we are hired, we are expected to devote ourselves to our work during working hours, and yet how many people spend time on personal phone calls, social networking sites and even gaming sites during working hours? This is stealing. “ Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” (Colossians 3:23).
We can steal by withholding what is due someone else, too. When we hire someone to work for us, but withhold their payments just to keep the interest accruing in our own accounts longer, this is stealing. “You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired worker shall not remain with you all night until the morning.” (Leviticus 19:13)
We can steal by borrowing without repaying. Hopefully, nobody who claims to know Christ would willingly default on a loan, but I know that many do whatever they deem necessary in the moment, not giving thought to their own accountability. ”The wicked borrow and never repay, but the godly are generous givers.” (Psalm 37:21)
We can steal by evading taxes. While we may not always agree with how our tax dollars are spent, this does not excuse us from paying our taxes. “For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.” (Romans 13:6,7)
We can steal from God, by withholding tithes and offerings. While it is easy to make excuses for why we do not give, we must realize that it all belongs to God in the first place, and return the tithe to him in obedience and gratitude. “Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions.” (Malachi 3:8)
An honest life is a good life, the only one truly blessed by God. The great this is that it’s never too late to begin to live with integrity and honesty. Start today!