by Rick Warren
“It is better to be poor and honest than to be foolish and tell lies.” (Proverbs 19:1 NCV)
God does not bless dishonesty. Proverbs 16:11 says, “The Lord demands fairness in every business deal” (LB). That includes wages, salaries, and taxes. If you want God’s blessing on your finances, you must be honest about them. Proverbs also says, “It is better to be poor and honest than to be foolish and tell lies” (19:1 NCV).
Why is this an important principle? When you’re going through a season of financial stress, the temptation is enormous to toss out your integrity and to cheat in order to make ends meet. It may mean you shade the truth on a sale, exaggerate or deflate the value of something. It may mean you claim a false deduction on your taxes. You always lose in the long run when you lose your integrity. That’s what you are taking to Heaven — your character, not your money. You always lose when you give up your integrity.
The Bible says in Proverbs 10:22, “The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it” (NIV). Profit that is made dishonestly brings trouble with it. Why? Because whatever you reap, you’re eventually going to sow. If you rip off people, other people are going to rip you off. If you cheat, even the government, you’re going to get cheated in life. What you sow, you will reap.
This decision to be honest in your finances is not something you make once for all. It’s going to be a daily decision. You’re going to be tempted to lie. Sometimes honesty costs you. Have you learned that? Sometimes it costs to tell the truth on a form. But God says that if you’re faithful to him in this, you’ll never worry about your financial needs.