Making Lawful Plans

Deuteronomy 25:13-16 “You shall not have in your bag two kinds of weights, a large and a small. You shall not have in your house two kinds of measures, a large and a small. A full and fair weight you shall have, a full and fair measure you shall have, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. For all who do such things, all who act dishonestly, are an abomination to the Lord your God.

Leviticus 19:35-36 “You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measures of length or weight or quantity. You shall have just balances, just weights … I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.

Romans 13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

Why do good people do bad things? Psychology will tell you it is the compensation effect. “The compensation effect refers to the tendency for people to assume they accumulate moral capital. We use good deeds to balance out bad deeds…”  But that’s not how this works. We can’t trade good works for bad. The Bible doesn’t allow us a pass on some sins and not others. There are no “white lies” or “petty thefts” in God’s book. Sin is sin. And Just because Jesus came to forgive us our sins does not give us carte blanche to keep on committing them.

You might think I am pointing fingers at the world right now – but I am talking about Christians! I love my church people, but some of them fall into this trap. (And we’re not going to talk about the big obvious sins here – I don’t want to get into THAT mess.) I want to talk about the little ones. I want to talk about the churches who use copyrighted material without permission. I want to talk about the churches that don’t pay full-time staff a decent wage, or who pay a celebrity leader a ridiculously high wage. I want to talk about churches who borrow things from people and don’t return them. I want to talk about churches who don’t help the poor. We think that all the things we do for the church should outweigh any “little oversights”. 
 
But before we go pointing fingers, how many of us have intentionally driven just a little over the speed limit? Or told our boss there was bad traffic when really we got up late? What “little sins” do you try to get away with? Chances are we’ve all done something like that. They’re wrong, we know, but we seem to think they aren’t that wrong. Guess what? We’re wrong.
 

“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” -C. S. Lewis

How does this tie in to our series on plans? That’s simple! Make sure your plans are LAWFUL – both in your country and in your Christianity. Don’t assume. Double check. Seek out counsel. Don’t seek out loopholes. Don’t say “nobody will ever notice”. Don’t say “everyone does it”. There is no good to come out of it. God wants you to do things correctly; It is not in His character to want you to do it unlawfully!

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Lord, help us to remember that there are no shortcuts to doing good. That no matter how much something is in your plan, cheating to get there is not. You provide the provision we need, you open doors and hearts, and if we aren’t seeing the result we think we should see then the answer is to get more  in your will, not less. But don’t let us get stuck judging others on this! Instead help us to search our own hearts, and to give them to you. Amen.

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