Choosing Honesty

Leah DiPascal

Day: 25 | Plan: Deuteronomy

Today's Reading: Deuteronomy 25

Deuteronomy 25:16 (NIV) For the LORD your God detests anyone who does these things, anyone who deals dishonestly.

Imagine going to the grocery store and buying a bag of apples. Then returning home to discover the clerk secretly placed a heavy stone inside the bag, causing the apples to weigh more, thereby causing you to pay more.

How would that make you feel? Angry? Disgusted? Determined to return to the store and tattle on that clerk?

Dishonesty among merchants was a real problem in the Israelite community and quite prevalent in the everyday buying and selling of products. Sadly, greedy merchants would increase their profits by using two sets of stone weights when selling and buying merchandise to tip the scales to their advantage.

Those tricks of dishonesty might have cleverly been disguised from buyers and sellers, but it certainly wasn’t concealed from God’s eye. He saw the cheating … the taking advantage of others … the deceitfulness … and He hated it:

“Do not have two differing weights in your bag—one heavy, one light. Do not have two differing measures in your house—one large, one small … For the LORD your God detests anyone who does these things, anyone who deals dishonestly” (Deuteronomy 25:13-14, 16).

See that phrase “the LORD your God detests”? Other translations say “an abomination unto the LORD”  In the Hebrew, the word abomination can also mean: disgusting, disgraceful, repulsive. Wow … that’s serious stuff.

The word abomination is found in several other places in Scripture when referring to idol worship, sacrificing children to false gods, dealings in witchcraft and murder. That paints an eye-opening picture of how seriously God feels about dishonesty when viewed next to these heinous acts.

So does God really care about how we handle our business affairs?

If we stretch the truth about our income just a tad and report a little less on our annual tax returns … does that really matter to Him?

If we sell a used car and conveniently forget to tell the buyer about the air conditioning problems, which haven’t been repaired yet … does that really matter to God?

If we treat a co-worker to lunch and the waiter forgets to charge us for one of the meals, but we decide to say nothing and pay less for what we owe … does that really matter to God?

You bet it does! And no matter how many times we try to rationalize a dishonest action, hide a double-dealing or make excuses like “well, everyone else does it” that won’t change the fact that God is offended by dishonesty. Period.

But look at how God responds to honesty:

“The LORD detests dishonest scales, but accurate weights find favor with him” (Proverbs 11:1).

“You must have accurate and honest weights and measures, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you” (Deuteronomy 25:15).

Every day we have a choice to make. Honesty or dishonesty.

Why forgo extra blessings of favor and longevity from God for a few extra dollars? It’s never worth it.

No matter how you slice it, honesty always wins over dishonestly. Doing what is right and pleasing to God is more important. Every. Single. Time.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I confess there have been times I’ve been dishonest because I thought it would play to my advantage. But in doing so I’ve dishonored You and I’m sorry for my actions. The next time an opportunity arises, give me the strength to choose honesty over dishonesty. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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