This devotional first appeared in https://www.revivalandreformation.org
In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:12, NRSV.
Those who truly fear God would rather toil day and night, and eat the bread of poverty, than to indulge a passion for gain which would oppress the widow and the fatherless, or turn strangers from their right. Our Savior sought to impress upon His hearers that the person who would venture to defraud a neighbor in the smallest item would, if the opportunity were favorable, overreach in larger matters. The slightest departure from rectitude breaks down the barriers, and prepares the heart to do greater injustice. By precept and example Christ taught that the strictest integrity should govern our conduct toward our fellow beings. Said the divine Teacher, “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.”
Just to the extent that people would advantage themselves at the disadvantage of others will their souls become insensible to the influence of the Spirit of God. Gain obtained at such a cost is a fearful loss. It is better to want than to lie; better to hunger than to defraud; better to die than to sin. Extravagance, overreaching, extortion indulged by those professing godliness, are corrupting their faith and destroying their spirituality. The church is in a great degree responsible for the sins of its members. It gives countenance to the evil if it fails to lift its voice against it. The influence from which it has most to fear is not that of open opposers, infidels, and blasphemers, but of inconsistent professors of Christ. These are the ones who keep back the blessing of the God of Israel….
The business world does not lie outside the limits of God’s government. True religion is not to be merely paraded on the Sabbath and displayed in the sanctuary; it is for every day and for every place. Its claims must be recognized and obeyed in every act of life. Those who possess the genuine article will in all their business affairs show as clear a perception of right as when offering their supplications at the throne of grace.–The Southern Watchman, May 10, 1904.