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The Importance of Honesty

Most people don’t consider themselves to be dishonest. Yet, researchers found that workplace theft is surprisingly common. One survey released in 2013 revealed that most employees stole from the retail and service companies that employed them. Some of those thefts might not be what you’d expect. For example, many employees claimed they worked longer than they actually did. Others stole supplies. Theft can even be a problem for those who claim to be followers of Jesus. The apostle Paul felt it necessary to remind Ephesian believers that they must not steal (Eph. 4:28).

Dishonesty was also a problem in Zechariah’s day. The sixth vision warned of impending judgment. Zechariah saw a huge scroll which displayed several unusual features. For one thing, instead of being rolled up and resting on a table, it was unrolled and floating in mid-air. The physical dimensions of the scroll were unexpectedly large. The scroll had writing on two sides (v. 3). One side condemned those who stole and the other side condemned those who gave false testimony. Both sins were included in the Ten Commandments, suggesting the scroll could represent the Law as a whole.

The threat of banishment was a kind of promise. Zechariah’s prophecy not only served as a warning to those who ignored God’s Law but also pictured a time when those who persist in sin would be excluded from the land. The God of grace who invites us to come back to Him in repentance is also a God of justice. Those who refuse His grace opt for judgment. Sin is never a purely private matter. It always has an effect on the community as a whole (v. 3).

Apply the Word

Sometimes we are too lenient with ourselves. Do not let God’s grace make you complacent about your own sin. Take a moment to ask God to reveal areas in your life that need change. Christ’s blood has purchased forgiveness for you. Confess your sins today, and ask the Holy Spirit to give you power over them.

BY Dr. John Koessler, Chair and Professor of Pastoral Studies

Dr. John Koessler serves as chair and professor in the division of applied theology and church ministry at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois. He is married to Jane and has two sons, Drew and Jarred. John is the author of The Radical Pursuit of Rest (InterVarsity), The Surprising Grace of Disappointment (Moody) and True Discipleship (Moody). John has written several other books and articles and serves as a contributing editor for Today in the Word.

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