Gleanings from the Proverbs – Honesty and Fairness


Proverbs 11:1: A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.

The LORD God is fair and right, and He expects you to be fair and right. He is perfect, and He expects you to be perfect. He hates cheating or compromise in your dealings; He loves honesty and integrity. See the comments on 16:11 and the full weight of this rule.

Before standardized weights and measures, and a government department to enforce them, merchants were responsible for accurate scales and weights. You bought and sold most of your commodities and foodstuffs by weight. This was no small matter, as the integrity and prosperity of the nation’s economy depended on trustworthy transactions.

Take notice! This is no minor moral principle. The LORD counts economic cheating and compromise to be an abomination! The omniscient God, seeing and knowing all things, takes very close interest in the milligrams, millilitres, and kilograms, litres and pints, dollars and cents, of our daily lives. Let every greedy and stingy thief beware! He is not watching from a distance! He is watching you tip the waitress and sell your used car!

You will never get ahead cheating. And only blind individuals would think it for even a second. It is far better to pay and perform beyond expectations, than to cut corners or short-change anyone. Generosity is far superior to frugality. It is a very small mind, motivated by a dead soul, which thinks stinginess is how to get ahead (Pr 11:24-26; 28:8). The large mind, directed by a loving and generous heart, is God’s delight. He will bless the righteous.

Godly men are perfectly honest. They never take advantage of others. They go beyond bare duty; they pay more than their share; they keep every term of a contract; they tip generously; they pay debts on time; they despise purloining, or small thefts; they never lay out sick, when they are well; they disclose all problems with things they sell; they do not barter down a price, then call it a great deal; they communicate promptly and openly.

The Lord avenges any defrauding (I Thes 4:6; I Cor 6:8). He measures every relationship and transaction with His holy and divine scales of perfect righteousness. Have you been found wanting? Your prayers will stop at the ceiling (Pr 15:29; Ps 66:18); He will blow against you (Pr 13:15; Ps 34:16); you will never get ahead (Pr 13:11; 20:21; Jer 17:11).

The Lord delights in honest men (Pr 12:22; Ps 11:7; Luke 6:37-38). What a glorious blessing to have the Most High delighting in you for your daily integrity! Watch every trade! Please every man! Owe no man anything! Be void of offence before God and men! Let the pure honesty and generosity of the Lord Jesus Christ be seen in your every action.

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