John T. Willis

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Lying, Deceit, Dishonesty, Trickery, Hypocrisy--Part IV

Another huge aspect of human life dealing with dishonesty is BUSINESS. One does not have to look very far any direction to find all kinds of dishonesty taking place in BUSINESS. The Bible is FULL of examples and warnings of DISHONESTY in BUSINESS of all kinds. This blog calls attention to ONLY a VERY FEW examples in and outside the Bible.

1. Yahweh through the prophet Amos reproves influential LEADERS among God's people who attend church regularly, but during the week they are engaged in all kinds of dishonesty in business. This has to do with merchants and customers, the rich and the poor. One outstanding text is Amos 8:4-6:
"Hear this, you that trample on the needy,
and bring to ruin the poor of the land,
saying, 'When will THE NEW MOON be over
so that we may sell grain;
so that we may offer wheat for sale?
buying the poor for silver,
and the needy for a pair of sandals,
These "wealthy, influential, religious leaders" regularly attend the NEW MOON and the SABBATH, but their daily practices are corrupt to the core. Yahweh through Amos names FOUR specific dishonest practices in business.
*Making the ephah small. An ephah is a measure of grain. The merchant would put a label for 100 pounds when the bag held only 98.5 pounds.
*Making the shekel great. If the true value of 100 pounds of wheat is $5.00, the merchant would put a label on the bag for $5.10. 10 cents is ONLY a small amount overall. But this is dishonest, and hurts the customers.
*Making false balances. Merchants would "rig" a balance or scale to make it read 100 pounds when in reality the bad held only 98.5 pounds.
*Selling "inferior" products. This might be chaff mixed in the bag among the good wheat or give an inferior grade of wheat.
Practices like this are very common. Merchants present a product in one way, when in reality the product is different from what the merchants present.

2. One of the laws in the Pentateuch appears in Leviticus 19:35-36:
"You shall not CHEAT IN MEASURING LENGTH, WEIGHT, OR QUANTITY. You shall have HONEST BALANCES, HONEST WEIGHTS, AN HONEST EPHAH, AND AN HONEST HIN: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt."
Proverbs 11:1; 16:11; 20:23 deal with this same problem. In order, these verses are:
"A false balance is an abomination to the Lord,
but an accurate weight is his delight."
"Honest balances and scales are the Lord's;
all the weights in the bag are his work."
"Differing weights are an abomination of the Lord,
and false scales are not good."
Money, wealth, prestige, the love of money drive the lives of many people, and bring them to shame, imprisonment, despair. The love of money is a huge problem in human life.

3. Paul writes in 1 Timothy 6:9-10:
"Those who WANT TO BE RICH fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plung people into ruin and destruction. For THE LOVE OF MONEY is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains."
Hence, Paul summons Christians:
"As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life."

4. All of us know about the story of Enron Corporation. This was an American energy, commodities, and services company based in Houston, Texas. Enron employed approximately 22,000 staff and was one of the world's leading electricity, natural gas, communications, and pulp and paper companies, with claimed revenues of almost $101 billion om 2000. At the end of 2001, inspectors discovered Enron's financial condition was sustained substantially by institutionalized, systemic, and creatively planned accounting fraud known world-wide as the "Enron scandal." This led to destroy the company, put several of its CEOs and associates into prison, and virtually dissolved the Arthur Andersen accounting firm. There is little need to report all the dishonesty involved in these one-time powerful business companies.

ALL OF THIS is a HEART PROBLEM. Business practices are not due to businesses, but due to people. PEOPLE make decisions to do this or that. When a person is dishonest, this is a HEART PROBLEM. History demonstrates that dishonest practices will continue as long as human beings live on earth. This is a reality of life. Hopefully, a blog like this will persuade just one person to do the honest thing, to develop a true heart.

Share YOUR thoughts and insights with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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