While serving on active military duty in Iraq in 2005, a young sergeant had written up an order for one more box of ballpoint pens than his unit needed. This lack of honesty and integrity was caught by his immediate supervisor, a staff sergeant. The junior sergeant, trying to be looked upon as an efficient, smart supply sergeant by his supervisor and maybe his commanding officer, had heard that other supply sergeants did the same thing. To his surprise, he was ordered to talk to his company First Sergeant about his activity. As he prepared to see the top Non-Commissioned Officer in his unit, he thought that if he was in trouble with the First Sergeant, he would argue, “every does it” and he would name names of other. He thought surely the Army would never punish him over a $2.40 box of ballpoint pens!!
After going over his records, the First Sergeant was impressed with the young supply sergeant’s careful handling of his company’s supplies, dishonest though they were. Maybe the First Sergeant had become the top Non- Commission Officer in his company by using less than honorable practices himself thought the young supply sergeant.
It is written that Jesus said: “Make to yourselves friends of money of unrighteousness; that, when you fail, they may take care of you.”
Some who read this Scriptural passage firmly believe Jesus is sanctioning and condoning dishonest behavior. However, if one put an scornful emphasis on Jesus’ “THEY” and the sarcasm comes through in the notion that fellow conspirators can be elevated to positions of responsibility, gain high rank, achieve great things in life, become monetarily wealthy and lead a great life in human eyes.
Jesus, however, ends His story with a warning to those who are dishonest. He stated that those are dishonest in small things WILL be dishonest in large ones. It is something to think about whenever we are tempted to take an extra mile when we report our mileage claims to our employer, write an intellectually dishonest story about a statement or woman because we do not share their beliefs, cheat a little on our tax returns.
Recently, Gallup (a polling organization) took a survey pertaining to honesty in several communities around the United States. This polling organization found greater levels of dishonest practice and behavior among Christians than in the general population. Dishonesty not just with respect to finances and money handling but also to behavior—sexual practice, marriage, school work, giving employers a full days work for a full days pay just to name a few. It is no wonder anti-Christian groups refer to Christians and the whole of Christianity as “hypocrites” and “hypocritical” because so many seem to lack honesty and integrity in their daily lives.
Jesus calls His followers to be honest and to do so with integrity daily. For every Christian knows that you can fool humanity but you CANNOT fool God. That being even a little dishonest is not enough for Jesus. Under the constant and steady eyes of Jesus Christ, only complete and total honesty will do in His Kingdom! Do you get His drift?
Read more articles by Stephen A. Peterson or search for articles on the same topic or others.
This is a good commentary on that passage of Scripture--I was just reading and wondering about it. Also, we need more of your confrontational style these days. It is true; we will each stand before God to give an account some day and we mustn't be deceived into believing that just because we can get away with certain things in this world's system that we'll get away with them in God's eyes, because we won't. Stand firm and keep shining that flashlight into the darkness!!