Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus told a parable regarding a manager who dealt dishonestly in the belongings of his master. The manager was about to lose his position. Being that he was too lazy to work and his pride would keep him from begging, he needed to do something. Thus, caught between a rock and a hard place, the manager, knowing that his dishonesty was about to cost him his job, continued it and had those who owed his master a certain quantity of a given commodity to change their paperwork to reflect a lower amount of debt. Yes, he was being shrewd in doing something to prevent “losing his shirt” when he lost his job.
Are we any different? No. Not really. Truthfully, we are all liars. We do what we can and have to so that won’t “lose our shirt” too. Sometimes we may try to “fudge” our paperwork and claim that there is less weight than what we really loaded in a particular trailer in hopes of not having to strip it and reload it. Other times, we may attempt to claim more weight so that we don’t have to strip it and add something that is heavy and perhaps rather awkward. There are even times when we try to deny responsibility in a damage claim so to keep from being written up for negligence or worst, being terminated.
Sometimes, there are mitigating circumstances, such as unclear weights or missing paperwork, making it difficult to ensure accuracy. Thus, it is possible in those cases to either have the paper work heavier or lighter than what the final load really is. However, there is no excuse for denying responsibility for a damage claim. Regardless, such circumstances are not desirable and people can be quite dishonest in those regards, especially if they feel that they could risk be written up or fired.
There is no honest way to know what would have happened to the manager in the parable Jesus told had the manager been honest about his incompetence and initial dishonesty. Jesus never tells us. Rather, he comments on how the manager, in being shrewd in adjusting the bills of his masters debtors in order that he may find favor with them. In doing so, the manager was attempting to ensure that he would be able to continue living with minimal work. So too, we attempt dishonesty to minimize additional work if it is in our favor.
There is no place for dishonesty. It matters little if it is in this world or in paradise. Indeed, any dishonesty is nothing less than bearing false witness, a violation of the Commandments, as given to Moses and recorded in the book of Exodus. In all truthfulness, we must unlearn all dishonesty, whether habitual, as was the case in the parable, or incidental. Jesus died to forgive us our sins, yet we should not continue in sin, whether it be dishonesty, theft, or otherwise. If we want to do well, we must be honest with ourselves, our supervisors and those whom we are in contact with. Perhaps, even, those whom we may never meet. Yes, it may at times be easier to lie, but is not desirable and is a sin.
Let us pray for forgiveness and may it be that by God’s Holy Spirit that we may overcome all dishonesty and deal justly with all whom we encounter.