Thought for Thursday

Let him that stole steal no more, but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Ephesians 4:28

As a lad I enjoyed sitting beside the stove in the old country store in New Annan, listening to the stories and other conversation by the men of the community who would gather there. It was amazing what a youngster could learn by listening to those men. One day, they began discussing how impossible it was to trust anybody because everybody was dishonest. One old man spoke up and said, ‘The only two men you can trust in New Annan are Wendell Bonnyman and Laurie Carruthers’. I have often thought about that comment, noting that those two men were Christians who had a clear testimony in their home community.

Are all Christians honest? Sadly, the answer is no. The apostle knew that when he wrote this admonition. Christians are to earn their living with honest work. They are also to do work that is good. Occupations such as bartender or attendant at a gambling table would be inappropriate for a Christian, for example. Christians should not be takers, they should be givers. They should be the ones most consistently providing for not only themselves and their families but also those who are in need. Paul says that is one reason why the Christian is to be a contributor to the workforce, so he can give to others.

Do you know dishonest Christians? Surely you are not one yourself! But we all need to look into our actions and attitudes carefully to see if we are in fact being honest in all of our dealings. If a clerk at a store gives you too much change back, do you return the difference? Do you ‘borrow’ items from work to take home and use for yourself? Little things like that are actually dishonest. And dishonest people are seldom generous. Dishonest people are the takers, and are not interested in being givers. Takers may eat better, but givers sleep better. -Jim MacIntosh

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