Thursday, September 30, 2010

Integrity in our Business

Would you be willing now to be made whole?

I can imagine that you say, “I want to be like Jesus, I anxiously desire it,” and yet permit me gently and affectionately to whisper in your ear that if you knew what I meant, if you knew what Jesus was, I am not so sure that your will would very vehemently incline that way... let me remind you that when a man is whole, complete, and what a man should be, there are certain evil propensities which are expelled, and certain moral qualities which he is sure to possess. For instance, if a man be made whole before God he is made honest before men.

No man can be said to be whole while he is still guilty of injustice in his trading, in his thinking, in his conversation, or in his actions towards his neighbors. Sinner, you have been in the habit of perpetrating in your business much that would not stand the tests of God’s all-searching eye. You often say in your trading things that are not true; you excuse them by the assertion that others do the same. I am not here to listen to your excuse, but I am about to ask you earnestly, “Wilt thou be made whole?” Art thou desirous to be made from this time a thoroughly, strictly, punctiliously honest man? No more lying puffs; no more exaggerations; no more overreaching, and taking of advantage; come now, what think you of this state of things? Why, there are some who could not carry on their business at this rate; “the trade is rotten, and if you do not fall into its practices you cannot make a living; the district is low and beggarly, and none can thrive in it but cheats; we should have to shut up the shop if we were perfectly honest.” “Why,” cries one, “I should be eaten up alive in this age of competition. I cannot believe that we are to be so excessively conscientious.”

I see how it is, you do not want to be made whole.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Singular But Needful Question," delivered October 16, 1870. Image by Richard Conlan under Creative Commons License.

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