The Bible a Source Book of Business Principles. -- There is no branch of
legitimate business for which the Bible does not afford an essential
preparation. Its principles of diligence, honesty, thrift, temperance, and
purity are the secret of true success. These principles, as set forth in the
Book of Proverbs, constitute a treasury of practical wisdom. Where can the
merchant, the artisan, the director of men in any department of business, find
better maxims for himself or for his employees than are found in these words of
the wise man:
"Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings;
he shall not stand before mean men."
"In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to
"The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing."
"The drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness
shall clothe a man with rags." . . .
How many a man might have escaped financial failure and ruin by heeding the
warnings so often repeated and emphasized in the Scriptures:
"He that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent."
"Wealth gotten in haste shall be diminished; but he that gathereth by
labour shall have increase."
"The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and
fro of them that seek death."
"The borrower is servant to the lender."
"He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth
suretiship is sure."
The eighth commandment condemns . . . theft and robbery. It demands strict
integrity in the minutest details of the affairs of life. It forbids
overreaching in trade and requires the payment of just debts or wages."
Mind and Character Degraded by Dishonesty. -- He [one who utters falsehood or
practices deception] loses his own self-respect. He may not be conscious that
God sees him and is acquainted with every business transaction, that holy angels
are weighing his motives and listening to his words, and that his reward will be
according to his works; but if it were possible to conceal his wrongdoing from
human and divine inspection, the fact that he himself knows it is degrading to
his mind and character. One act does not determine the character, but it breaks
down the barrier, and the next temptation is more readily entertained, until
finally a habit of prevarication and dishonesty in business is formed, and the
man cannot be trusted.
As we deal with our fellow men in petty dishonesty or in more daring fraud,
so will we deal with God. Men who persist in a course of dishonesty will carry
out their principles until they cheat their own souls and lose heaven and
eternal life. They will sacrifice honour and religion for a small worldly
Shun Debt. --Many poor families are poor because they spend their money as
soon as they receive it.
You must see that one should not manage his affairs in a way that will incur
debt. . . . When one becomes involved in debt, he is in one of Satan's nets,
which he sets for souls. . . .
Abstracting and using money for any purpose, before it is earned, is a snare.
Words to One Who Lived Beyond His Income. -- You ought not to allow yourself
to become financially embarrassed, for the fact that you are in debt weakens
your faith and tends to discourage you; and even the thought of it makes you
nearly wild. You need to cut down your expenses and strive to supply this
deficiency in your character. You can and should make determined efforts to
bring under control your disposition to spend means beyond your income.
The Cause of God May Be Reproached. --The world has a right to expect strict
integrity in those who profess to be Bible Christians. By one man's indifference
in regard to paying his just dues all our people are in danger of being regarded
Those who make any pretensions to godliness should adorn the doctrine they
profess, and not give occasion for the truth to be reviled through their
inconsiderate course of action. "Owe no man any thing," says the
Counsel to One in Debt. --Be determined never to incur another debt. Deny
yourself a thousand things rather than run in debt. This has been the curse of
your life, getting into debt. Avoid it as you would the smallpox.
Make a solemn covenant with God that by His blessing you will pay your debts
and then owe no man anything if you live on porridge and bread. It is so easy in
preparing your table to throw out of your pocket twenty-five cents for extras.
Take care of the pennies, and the dollars will take care of themselves. It is
the mites here and the mites there that are spent for this, that, and the other
that soon run up into dollars. Deny self at least while you are walled in with
debts. . . . Do not falter, be discouraged, or turn back. Deny your taste, deny
the indulgence of appetite, save your pence, and pay your debts. Work them off as
fast as possible. When you can stand forth a free man again, owing no man
anything, you will have achieved a great victory.
Show Consideration for Unfortunate Debtors. --If some are found to be in debt
and really unable to meet their obligations, they should not be pressed to do
that which is beyond their power. They should be given a favourable chance to
discharge their indebtedness, and not be placed in a position where they are
utterly unable to free themselves from debt. Though such a course might be
considered justice, it is not mercy and the love of God.
Danger in Extreme Positions. --Some are not discreet and would incur debts
that might be avoided. Others exercise a caution that savours of unbelief. By
taking advantage of circumstances we may at times invest means to such advantage
that the work of God will be strengthened and upbuilt, and yet keep strictly to