A while back, as I was doing my daily bible reading, I came across this passage about integrity:
You shall not have in your back differing weights, a large and a small. You shall not have in your house differing measures, in large and a small. A full and fair weight you shall have, a full and fair measure you shall have, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. For everyone who does these things, everyone who acts unjustly is an abomination to the Lord your God. – Deuteronomy 25:13-16
God expected the Israelites to operate with honesty and integrity both in trade and business. The picture here is of a merchant in the marketplace who, as he conducts business, carries false weights and scales, which will measure things in his favor and allow him to cheat his customers. This is similar to someone in modern times gambling with weighted dice.
The Bible has a lot to say about having integrity, especially as you operate your business. As you can see from the verses above, and the many more that I didn’t even enclose, how we handle our business is very important.
We need to do everything with integrity and honor and honesty. In fact, the measure of success when it comes to how we deal with others – especially in business or financial matters – is not whether we were profitable, able to get our way, or even if we were able to make someone happy, but it’s if we operate with honesty and integrity.
Even if we have a business that fails, or we try an endeavor and it doesn’t work out, we can know it was a success in God’s eyes, if we operate with integrity, honesty, and godly character.
[Question: Does hard work show a lack of faith?]
Because most people in this country don’t own their own business, but in fact, work for someone else, we may feel as though these verses don’t apply to us. However we must realize that we do own a business in a sense – we own our labor, our intellect, and our abilities, and we are to use all these things with integrity for our clients. It’s just in many cases, we call our clients our boss, manager, or supervisor.
I think we have to really look at how we approach work and other things that we do in life. We need search our hearts and make sure that we are operating with integrity in all that we do (even if it causes us to lose favor with a boss that is asking us to bend the rules or fudge numbers). If we can do that then we know that we have been pleasing to God.
There’s a lot more that can be said about this, and most likely I will write about it in the future, but I just wanted to put that quick thought out there as it definitely hit me hard as I read it and thought about the consequences.
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