This devotional first appeared in https://www.revivalandreformation.org
The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. Proverbs 11:3, NKJV.
Christ has said: “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” The deeds of people’s lives are the fruit they bear. If they are unfaithful and dishonest in temporal matters, they are bringing forth briers and thorns; they will be unfaithful in the religious life and will rob God in tithes and offerings.
The Bible condemns in the strongest terms all falsehood, false dealing, and dishonesty. Right and wrong are plainly stated. But I was shown that God’s people have placed themselves on the enemy’s ground; they have yielded to his temptations and followed his devices until their sensibilities have become fearfully blunted. A slight deviation from truth, a little variation from the requirements of God, is thought to be, after all, not so very sinful, when pecuniary gain or loss is involved. But sin is sin, whether committed by the possessor of millions or by the beggar in the streets. Those who secure property by false representations are bringing condemnation on their souls. All that is obtained by deceit and fraud will be only a curse to the receiver.
Adam and Eve suffered the terrible consequences of disobeying the express command of God. They might have reasoned: This is a very small sin, and will never be taken into account. But God treated the matter as a fearful evil, and the woe of their transgression will be felt through all time. In the times in which we live, sins of far greater magnitude are often committed by those who profess to be God’s children. In the transaction of business, falsehoods are uttered and acted by God’s professed people that bring His frown upon them and a reproach upon His cause.
The least departure from truthfulness and rectitude is a transgression of the law of God. Continual indulgence in sin accustoms the person to a habit of wrongdoing, but does not lessen the aggravated character of the sin. God has established immutable principles, which He cannot change without a revision of His whole nature. If the Word of God were faithfully studied by all who profess to believe the truth, they would not be dwarfs in spiritual things. Those who disregard the requirements of God in this life would not respect His authority were they in heaven.–Testimonies for the Church 4:311, 312.