BE HONEST IN MONEY MATTERS

WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL

JANUARY 09, 2024

TOPIC: BE HONEST IN MONEY MATTERS

BY T. O. BANSO

“Moreover they did not require an account from the men into whose hand they delivered the money to be paid to workmen, for they dealt faithfully” (2 Kings 12:15 New King James Version).

Indeed, money is important in life. Money determines many things human beings do or they require money to do many things. Nevertheless, money is not everything.

Because money is essential in many things we do in life, many people try to get it by any means. Many relationships have been destroyed because of people’s attitudes toward money. To many, getting money is the bottom line and they do not mind what happens to their relationships with others.

Truly, you may never know the real character of people until money is involved in your relationship with them. Many have betrayed their spouses, friends, business partners, neighbours, customers, and clients because of money. They have been unfaithful and lied. They have broken promises and cheated just to make more money than was due to them. Christians are not exempted from this. Unfortunately, some unbelievers would pass the test of money more than some Christians. This is not supposed to be so. But thank God there are still Christians who do not worship money.

In the past, Christians used to be trusted with money. Other people felt comfortable making them the treasurers of organizations, formal or informal. That has since changed because some Christians proved not to be different from the non-believers. Such Christians have followed the footsteps of Judas Iscariot who was Jesus’ treasurer and stole from the purse. John 12:6 says,  This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it” (New King James Version). However, there are still many Christians who can be trusted with money.

As vital as money is to human activities, Christians must have the right attitude to it. We must be honest in money matters. Making money must never be a do-or-die affair. The Word of God must guide us. It should be our final authority. Don’t let money change you negatively.

Many people believe that it is impossible to be rich by being honest. They say honesty does not pay off. That is Satan’s lie and those who believe it will spend their eternity in hellfire with him. People may gather so much through dishonesty but they will lose their souls and burn forever in the lake of fire. All liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone (Revelation 21:8). For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36-37 New King James Version).

It is the blessing of the LORD that makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it (Proverbs 10:22). Honesty pays off in this life and the life after. Avoid dishonest gain. The LORD said of the sins of Jerusalem: “Behold, therefore, I beat My fists at the dishonest profit which you have made, and at the bloodshed which has been in your midst” (Ezekiel 22:13 New King James Version). In verse 27, He says, “Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, to shed blood, to destroy people, and to get dishonest gain” (New King James Version). Avoid dishonest gain or profit. Be honest in money matters.

People are more important than money. Relationships are superior to money. Honesty in money matters is very important. Whether it is a business transaction with someone, money kept in your custody, including government money that you are accountable for, money having to do with the management of the business of others, or any other money, be honest. Don’t fall into the temptation of greed, covetousness, exploitation, and so on. Hebrews 13:5 says, Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (New King James Version). The New Living Translation puts it this way: Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.’”  

Don’t let the love of money push you into dishonesty, which eventually will be exposed, and you’ll be disgraced. Many people today are living in fear of being found out about previous dishonesty in money matters. But the righteous are as bold as a lion (Proverbs 28:1). Be sure that your sin will find you out – it will catch up with you (Numbers 32:23). Even if you’re not exposed here on earth, your dishonesty is not hidden from God.

1 Timothy 6:6-10 says,Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (New King James Version).

Live a life of integrity, especially integrity in money matters. “The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them” (Proverbs 11:3 New King James Version). God’s word to His children is that they shall not steal, deal falsely, or lie to one another (Leviticus 19:11). Avoid dishonesty in money matters.

Hear what Jesus said:He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” (Luke 16:10-12 New King James Version).

Earlier, Jesus told His disciples this parable: He also said to His disciples: ‘There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward’” (verses 1-2 New King James Version). No Christian should emulate this dishonest manager. He was unfaithful in what belonged to his master. And 1 Corinthians 4:2 says it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.

Be honest in money matters. I am always impressed by the story in 2 Kings 12 about the repair of the Temple of the LORD by King Jehoash of Judah. He told the priests, “All the money of the dedicated gifts that are brought into the house of the Lord—each man’s census money, each man’s assessment money—and all the money that a man purposes in his heart to bring into the house of the Lord, let the priests take it themselves, each from his constituency; and let them repair the damages of the temple, wherever any dilapidation is found” (2 Kings 12:4-5 New King James Version).

Because the priests did not execute the project of repairing the temple that King Jehoash gave them, they were stopped from further collecting money from the people. Then Jehoiada the priest took a chest, bored a hole in its lid, and set it beside the altar, on the right side as one comes into the house of the Lord; and the priests who kept the door put there all the money brought into the house of the Lord. So it was, whenever they saw that there was much money in the chest, that the king’s scribe and the high priest came up and put it in bags, and counted the money that was found in the house of the Lord. Then they gave the money, which had been apportioned, into the hands of those who did the work, who had the oversight of the house of the Lord; and they paid it out to the carpenters and builders who worked on the house of the Lord, and to masons and stonecutters, and for buying timber and hewn stone, to repair the damage of the house of the Lord, and for all that was paid out to repair the temple” (2 Kings 12:9-12 New King James Version).

The money brought to the Temple was paid out to the workmen, who used it for the Temple repairs. Now, this is the fascinating part of the story: “Moreover they did not require an account from the men into whose hand they delivered the money to be paid to workmen, for they dealt faithfully” (verse 15 New King James Version). What a great testimony! These supervisors utilized the money the right way. They were people of integrity.

Their honesty was so evident that they were not asked to account for how they spent the money. They were not like that dishonest or shrewd manager. You should be like these supervisors. Don’t let money change you negatively. Maybe money didn’t change some people negatively but only revealed their true character as dishonest, fraudulent, or corrupt fellows. Don’t be greedy for money, as Paul said bishops (elders or overseers) and deacons shouldn’t be (1 Timothy 3:3, 8; Titus 1:7; 1 Peter 5:2).  “Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, but he who gathers by labor will increase” (Proverbs 13:11 New King James Version).

Maintain integrity in money matters. Don’t lie, cheat, falsify figures, exploit, hide what you shouldn’t, and so on. A good name is better than fine perfume (Ecclesiastes 7:1a). A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches (Proverbs 22:1a).  Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool” (Proverbs 19:1 New King James Version). Be honest in money matters.

TAKE ACTION!

If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to be honest about money. I shall not be possessed by the love of money in Jesus’ name. Greed, covetousness, selfishness, and the like shall not find any place in my life. I shall have integrity in money matters. Father, deliver all those possessed by the love of money from this bondage. Set them free so that they will be honest in all their financial transactions.

(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).

T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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