2005-04-16 - Keep a Good Conscience
Originally Published 2003-07-16
Nine Steps to Financial Freedom, Part 5
It's good to talk to you again. I have had an interesting couple of weeks. From removing a platform, to reconstructing our stage at church and modifying and installing a new sound system, to packing up a friend's apartment and relocating from one apartment to another, and helping with details. It's been an adventure, as one of my good friends put it. Not an adventure that I want to do every day, though..
However it has been a blessing for all involved. I want to thank Jan and the rest of the staff for filling the gap for me. I hope you are doing well, my friends.
As we continue the series: In review, the first four steps as of Financial Freedom are:
Step 1, Transfer Ownership
Step Five: Keep a Clear Conscience
A Christian must have a clear conscience regarding past business practices and personal dealings. Freedom from these may well require restitution, as well as a changed attitude.
I know of a friend who had wronged an individual financially before she became a Christian. God convicted her about this and indicated that she go and make restitution. She contacted the individual, confessed what had been done, and offered to make it right. The person refused to forgive and refused to take any money.
For awhile, it hurt my friend's ego and pride - until she realized that it was not for the offended person that she had confessed, but for herself. It was not for the loss that restitution was offered, but for her relationship with God. God had forgiven her, and out of love, she had done exactly what God had asked. Nothing further was required.
Jesus says, in Matthew 5:21-26, "You have heard that it was said to the men of old, 'You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.' 22 But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be liable to the hell of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.
It's not about the offense; it's about the Love of Jesus Christ and the relationship we have with Him and others. As we restore relationships, we are testifying to God's love and character. Will there be those who will reject you and not accept your restitution? Yes, there will be, but of those who do accept restitution, it is a great opportunity to then share a witness to that friend that Jesus Christ died for our sin, that all who would believe in Him could be set free from their sin, and receive eternal life. Our personal relationship with God should permeate our lives from the inside out, and as we allow God's love to control us, we can be better witnesses to this gift of salvation. When we allow our sin to thrive inside, it hinders are ability to hear from God.
My dear friends, do you need your relationship restored with God and others?
Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
Christ has given you all things in Him. He has a unique plan for you, that cannot be compared to another. He alone is your security. Trust in the purposes He has for your life.
I want my life to be for the glory of God