Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:10
We rightfully deplore house burglaries and street robberies by culprits carrying handguns. There are, however, also white-collar crimes committed in offices and boardrooms with different tolls: pens, computers, falsified records, and outright lies. In a recent year three-fourths of the 500 largest companies reported major corporate fraud.
Since, as Jesus said, all sins, including theft, proceed out of corrupt hearts, it makes little difference what clothes the perpetrators wear, where they work, what education they have, and what methods they use. Thieves are thieves.
In a parable Jesus speaks of a rich man's manager who, through fraud, had wasted the owner's possessions. When he was discovered, he continued his dishonesty to secure a future for himself. This was white-collar fraud committed in a business office. Dishonesty was also practiced in political offices in the way the publicans collected taxes for the Roman government. For that matter, "white-collar" thievery was practiced in Jesus' closest group where a called and ordained apostle, Judas Iscariot, stole from the treasury (see John 12:4-6).
It is a tribute to the transforming, heart-changing power of the Gospel when Christian men and women in business, government, and society as a whole "do what is right in the eyes of everybody" (Romans 12:17). God calls on all of us to be faithful and honest stewards in whatever situations He has placed us. To that end He has given us new hearts and minds so "that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness" (1 Timothy 2:2). It is also from the sin of greed, which is the basis for much dishonesty, that Jesus redeemed us. With our hearts set on the greater treasures of God's kingdom, we are enabled to fulfill our vocations honestly and thus glorify our Father in heaven.
PRAYER: O Holy Spirit, enable me to keep God's Word in a good and honest heart as I fulfill life's duties. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)