I recently had a dream that has come to be very enlightening to me in two ways. It both revealed hidden sin in my heart and warned me about a choice I was going to have to make later on.
In my dream, I was confronted with a decision to either tell the truth or mislead someone important into believing I had done something that I had not done in order to gain notoriety and recognition. I’m sad to say that I decided to mislead the person to gain notoriety and recognition.
When I awoke, I immediately remembered the dream. Then the words “dishonest gain” came to mind. I knew that the Lord was revealing a hidden sin in my heart.
There have been times when I have had the opportunity to give God the glory for something He had done for me, in me, or through me, but instead, I excluded Him and took the glory for myself. That is an example of dishonest gain.
Of course, once my sin was revealed to me, I confessed the sin to God, repented, then went about my day.
I had the dream on a Sunday night. By Tuesday morning I had another opportunity for dishonest gain.
I could choose to compromise the truth, just a little bit, to receive a much bigger refund than I was already receiving due to a discovered error in my favor. Right away I remembered my dream and knew the dream was not only a revelation of sin but also a warning that temptation to sin was coming.
I not only told the person “no” refusing to bend the truth, but I also told the person why I was choosing not to compromise the truth. I even told the person about my dream.
I was very careful to give God the glory for my honesty and not take His glory for myself. I think it’s fair to say that I have learned my lesson about dishonest gain, for now anyway. I tend to be hard headed.
Dishonest gain is basically taking something that doesn’t belong to you or something you didn’t earn. It’s personal gain by dishonest means. It’s rooted in pride and greed.
It is prideful and greedy to think that I deserve God’s glory, or money, or anything else that I didn’t earn or wasn’t given to me. If I have to lie to gain money or possessions or omit God to gain notoriety and recognition, then that’s greedy and prideful. That’s dishonest gain.
Colossians 3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
Psalm 10:4 In his pride the wicked man does not seek God; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
Yikes! That second one really hurts!
How about you? Are there times when you exclude God, therefore, taking the glory for something that rightfully belongs to Him? Have you taken the credit for something that was done by someone else, in order to get a promotion or a pat on the back?
Do you take office supplies from work thinking you deserve them or that it’s not a big deal? Do you bend the truth, just a little bit, on your taxes or in a business deal in order to get a bigger check? After all, no one will find out.
God hears all, sees all, and knows all. He knows what’s in our hearts and in our minds.
1 John 3:20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything.
If you are guilty of dishonest gain, you can do what I did, when God revealed the sin of pride and greed in my heart; you can confess your sin to God and repent asking God to forgive you. Repent means to turn away from. You can turn away from that sin.
Ask God to help you see the importance of honesty. Ask Him to help you understand the destruction of pride and greed. Ask Him to forgive you today and to help you, through the power of His Spirit, to turn away from the sin of dishonest gain.
Matthew 7:7-8 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.