Can a good Christian cheat his customers?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: I have a business associate who wears his religion on his sleeve, always boasting of all that he does for the community. He may be active in church on Sunday, but he cheats his customers the rest of the week. This makes me doubt his sincerity and he has turned me off on Christianity. -- D.R.
A: An FBI agent was once asked how the agency spots counterfeit money. His answer was surprising and inspiring. He said, "We only study the real thing!" He went on to say, "We become so focused on each authentic mark that we can spot a counterfeit instantly."
Customers may pay for something with a $10 bill which proves to be a counterfeit, but just because this may happen on occasion does not cause the merchant to stop doing business with everyone.
God in Heaven deals with each of us individually. When we see someone being dishonest, we should pray for them. When we see someone who calls themselves a Christian but fails to live according to God's Word, there is nothing wrong with expressing disappointment. But before we do, we should stop and evaluate our life and ask if there is something we need to get right with God. When someone faults "faith in God" because of one person, it calls into question whether or not they are just looking for a reason to turn their back on God altogether.
If someone is truly a believer and falls into sin by how they treat others, a gentle word may cause the person to recognize the merit and rightness of the "Christian way" and repent and make restitution. The Bible story of Zacchaeus is a wonderful story to read (Luke 19). Christ alone changes the hearts of people.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)(c)2019 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.