- Monday, September 16, 2002
"Ask him to sell it to me for the full price as a burial–Listen to me, if you will. I will pay the price of the field" (Genesis 23:9&13 NIV).
Abraham's wife Sarah had died, and he needed a burial place for her. He was willing to pay full price, which we can well assume included a profit to the seller. The story of Joseph in Genesis 37:50 is replete with accounts of Joseph making a profit for Pharaoh at the direction of God. Peter, James and John were fishermen; Elisha was a farmer; Moses, Jacob and David were sheep herders; and Paul made tents-all presumably for a profit. God honors profit, but only as long as it is earned in a manner that honors Him. God knows that if business does not make a profit, the business will not be around for long. He wants us to profit, for to do so is to increase-and that honors Him; it is a fulfillment of His promises. The word increased is used 88 times in the King James Version of the Bible. However, the Bible has much to say about how profits can be detrimental.
Fast Profits And Their Fallout
"He that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent" (Proverbs 28:20).
"He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him" (Proverbs 28:22).
Ethics in A Time of Shrinking Profit
"There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness" (Proverbs 30:12).
We humans have a way of attempting to purify our motives by justifying our actions. This is especially true when profits being to shrink and losses begin to appear. The pressure of that moment, if we are not careful, will cause us to substitute our own value system for God's Word. As we attempt to make that substitution, we are pure in our own eyes, but yet are not washed from our filthiness before God.
The Penalty of Placing Profit As a Priority Over Family
"He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house...."
When profit becomes a priority over our family, greed has set in and the penalty will be a troubled family. At that point, we feebly attempt to justify the priority of our profit by spending a portion of those profits on our family. Our family does not want our money -they need our time. When we give our families part of our profit and little of our time, we penalize our families with trouble.
Keeping Integrity And Profit in Proper Perspective
"A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold" (Proverbs 22:1).
Every day we are faced with choosing between the bottom line or our good name, and we will make the choice that is most important to us. Eventually, we will place the profit and loss statement in storage, and the amount of the bottom line will be forgotten; but our name follows us wherever we go, even to the grave. Profit seems ever so important at the moment of decision but, when profit is divided by the number of years in eternity, it comes to much less than one cent per year regardless of the size of the enterprise. Let us keep profit and integrity in proper perspective.
Insight to Freedom was founded in 1983 by John and Donna Deal. This ministry was born out of John and Donna's walk out of $6,500,000 indebtedness from 1974-1986. For more information, visit www.insighttofreedom.com.
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