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An upright laborer is better than a crooked millionaire


True Christianity affects every aspect of life. God’s redemptive work is designed to touch the entire person and all his activities. Work is a significant part of the life of almost every person on this earth. Most of us will spend at least 40 hours a week to earn a living. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Scriptures sets forth godly purposes for our labors.

In our day cheating and stealing abound in the workplace. The average employee thinks nothing of wasting time for which he is being paid. Workers carry off company supplies. It is reported that hundreds are caught shoplifting each year but that even greater losses are suffered by business through thefts by their own employees.

Manufacturers deliberately put out false advertising. Repairmen blatantly overbill. Builders charge for the best but use inferior materials. The marketplace is riddled with dishonesty from top to bottom. A scrupulously honest person may be resented by fellow workers or business associates. He may be beaten out in competition for contracts or sales by someone who lies.

But the Christian must not cheat or steal in any way. Admittedly, there are gray areas. Some say they sometimes find it hard or difficult to know exactly what is honest and fair and what is not. But if a true Christian has any doubts about the legitimacy of a transaction, he should avoid it. It is better for a person to make less or even lose money than to be dishonest.

One of the most significant verses in the Bible in this regard is Ephesians 4:28: “He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need” (NIV). This verse deserves careful consideration. First, it sets before us a negation of dishonesty. Christians is not to steal in any way under any circumstances. The words, “He who has been stealing must steal no longer,” absolutely prelude the securing of money or property by an dishonest means.

Ephesians 4:28 also sets before us a validation of labor. We are told that a person ought to “work doing something useful with his own hands.” The Scripture at this point do not necessarily demand that every Christian engage in manual labor. Rather the expression “doing something useful with his own hands” contrasts the securing of gain through honest work with methods of involving deceits or chicanery.

However, this verse employs a word that signifies strenuous effort or labor to the point of fatigue. In this passage the Word of God affords dignity, even sanctity to all kinds of labor, such as Street Sweepers and Garbage Collectors, etc. The Bible endorses hard work. Caloused hands are good hands. Fatigue is a noble feeling. God smiles at the individual who labors diligently. And there’s something holy about honest work.

Unfortunately, it is observed, that respect for hard work has diminished. Some laborers in public service are complaining of maltreatment or lack of consideration. Officials and supervisors tend to misuse and abuse their authority, utilizing Civil Service rules or Office Policy subjectively rather than objectively and forgetting that managing people is also considering the human side of it. And I repeat, the Word of God affords dignity, even sanctity, to all kinds of hard work. And it is better to be an upright laborer than a crooked millionaire.


By Bro. Paeng Santos

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