How honesty pays

28 12 2016

“Honesty pays,” is a phrase we hear from our youth. I suggest it “pays” in peace of mind, whether or not it pays financially.

Recently my daughter bought a car. I was helping with the transaction, and when we came to filling out the transfer documents the seller suggested he would be willing to falsely lower the purchase price to lower the amount we would have to pay in tax. We declined and entered the actual amount of purchase.

Not an hour after we had left, the seller called and surprised us by saying, “We would like to give back $300 because the tires will need replacing soon, and because you didn’t lower the sale price on the document.” We told him this was not necessary, that it was highly unusual, but very kind. We accepted his gift with thanks!

This incident came to mind again this morning as I was reading the story of Abraham receiving God’s command to take his beloved son Isaac up the mountain to offer sacrifice. You will recall that Abraham, beyond belief, proceeded to sacrifice his son, when the Lord graciously spared the boy and provided a ram as sacrifice. That holy place was named “YHWH Jireh.” This name has come to us as one of our favorite names for God: “The-LORD-Will Provide.”

But the story continues with a vital statement:  “as it is said to this day, ‘In the mount of the LORD it shall be provided” (Gen. 22:14). We love to focus on the Lord’s provision, but we detach His provision from His call to the mountain.

Truth-telling must not be lost as our culture grows comfortable with compromise. 

Three years ago I made a mistake when I calculated my taxes. Later I engaged a tax preparation service which offered to check my past statement. I thanked them for this service, but was dismayed when they informed me that I had ignorantly underpaid by several hundred dollars. They gave me options, one of which was to assume the IRS would not find the mistake since they are so understaffed. I said no, send me the form to correct my error so that I can pay the back taxes (which I am still doing in monthly increments).

My application of the text is that I “went to the mountain” of obedience, and the Lord is providing.

. Not only does honesty pay in peace of mind, it says something to others who happen to observe it. Let’s be different, and have fun doing it!


Photo credit: WP Image Smart/Pixabay

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