It’s been said that desperate times call for desperate measures. With the worst economy our country has seen in decades many Christians are definitely among the 14 million unemployed Americans. No doubt these hard times have pinned many of God’s people against the wall where they are now grappling with matters of integrity and fighting temptations they have never had before.
Should I skew the answers on my application for unemployment benefits? Will it make a difference if I exaggerate an injury to keep disability benefits coming? What if I lie on my resume to increase my chances of getting hired? Who will know if I falsify a loan document to try to get some emergency cash to get by? I’m desperate… And it doesn’t seem like God is stepping in.
The real test in these critical times is not how courageously we make it through financial crisis. It’s whether we show God we trust Him by obeying His commands for honesty. This must be proven even when it seems justifiable to do otherwise. In everything we do God is looking at our Christian character to see if we really believe in Him like we say we do.
Anybody can lie or cheat to get ahead, or simply survive for that matter. But the faith walk of a child of God is fortified in those circumstances where we see no honorable or feasible way out, but we decide to trust God anyway.
Instead of doing what the world says by “looking out for Number One”, we need to look to the Almighty One. He is the one who grants favor, increase, and abundance. And as much as we think we are getting away with something that escaped man’s eye, God is never fooled. All our deeds are laid plain before Him, and He promises we will reap what we sow. So if we acquire a job by deception and lies, that money will likely fall like sand through our fingers. We often forget that everything belongs to God. If we steal or cheat someone here on earth, we are stealing from and cheating the Lord. God honors integrity and rewards righteous living. As long as a trial abides in our life, there is a spiritual lesson at its core.
God knows how to put our character under fire and reveal ugliness and flaws we never knew existed. If a plummeting economy is strong enough to deflate our faith and lead us into ethical compromise, that shows exactly what it takes to weaken our walk. The lesson is not about money, it is about our commitment to Christ in the face of dire adversity and temptation. Will we trust Him and represent Him well or not?
“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches. Loving favor rather than silver and gold.” –Proverbs 22:1