Biblical Stewardship -Honesty pt. 2

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Memory verse 1: Everything in the heavens and earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as being in control of everything.  1 Chronicles 29:11

Memory verse 2: “Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender” Proverbs 22:7

Memory verse 3: “the way of the fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel” Proverbs 12:15

Memory verse 4: “you shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another” Leviticus 19:11

Yesterday we talked about why God imposed the standard of absolute honesty. God’s standards are high. But He also knows we are imperfect people and we are vulnerable to temptation and sin. Sometimes we fall short of God’s honesty standards. So what are we to do?

“by the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil” Proverbs 16:6

Fear does not mean to be afraid, but rather respect. A healthy respect of God will keep us from sin. So what do we do if we have been dishonesty? Here are two things that need to happen

  1. Restore our fellowship with God-confess what we’ve done and ask forgiveness

“if we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1John 1:9

2.  Make it right with those affected-return dishonest gain to its rightful owner

“then it shall be, when he sins and becomes guilty, that he shall restore what he took by robbery…he shall make restitution for it in full and add to it one-fifth more. He shall give it to the one to whom it belongs” Leviticus 6:4-5

The principle of this is very simple, if you took it dishonestly, give it back. This might be embarrassing, this might be awkward, this might even get you in some legal trouble. But it must be done. God demands absolute honesty. I can remember one time at my workplace many years ago, before I was a Christian,  the Pepsi machine malfunctioned and dispensed all the cans of Pepsi when a guy put in his quarters. So there on the floor were lying about 20 cans. We all thought, yoohoo! Free drinks! But I’ll never forget this guy, a Christian man, walking over, collecting them all up and bringing them to the front office so they could be put back in the machine. We were upset at the time, but that always stuck with me. Absolute honesty. Give back whats not yours. Sometimes this will cost you. You may have to face someone who didn’t even know you stole from them. The risk is high, the end result is worth it! God loves a humble heart and wants to bless that!

Today’s lesson is short but there is a lot to pray about

Practical homework:

Have you filled out your estimated budget? Were there a few areas where you just weren’t sure what you spent? For the next week, I want to you to track every dime you spend, actually i’d like to see you do this for a month, but let’s start with a week. This exercise may open your eyes to places where money might be trickling out. You might think you only spend a few dollars on coffee every week, but you soon realize that you stop to buy one twice a day and it’s costing triple what you thought. Or your grocery bills add up to much more than you estimated. If i can relate it to our lesson today, it helps us be honest with ourselves and face our actual spending situation. This will be the practical homework for the next week.

Lord, search our hearts today. Forgive us where we may have been dishonest, where we may have taken advantage of someone else. Give us the courage and strength to make things right with those we have wronged. Help me to be honest in all things, big and small. Thank you God that you never give up on us and you love us unconditionally, and that you can use all things for good for those who love you.  In Jesus name, amen.

Tomorrow- Consequences of honesty and dishonesty