Buyers Beware!

by Stan Mitchell
openscales3.jpg“Boy I pulled a fast one over him,” the voice said.
I looked up from my meal. The speaker was several tables down from me in the restaurant.
“He didn’t know what hit him,” he continued, deep satisfaction in his voice. “He’ll only know I had him when it’s too late, and that useless junk will be on his hands.”
I gazed at him in dismay. The speaker was a member of my congregation, a businessman known in the community as a church leader. And here he was, boasting about the sharp (or would that be “dishonest”) deal he had just brought off.
“A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight,” (Proverbs 11:1, ESV).
The image of scales reflects the ancient method of weighing grain or some other product on one scale with a weight on the other. An image that is similar to our picture of Madame Justice, blind-folded and holding even scales before her.
It would be fairly simple for a dishonest businessman to fix the weight in order to increase profits, especially when doing business with those members of society who were unable to protest – the poor, for instance, or the widow.
The Christian businessman does not offer a defective product; he does not charge an extortionate price; he does not take advantage of either his competitors or his customers. Not if the “Christian” part of “Christian businessman” is genuine.
“Come-back” customers are the result of fair and honest business dealing. You only cheat a customer once. He won’t come back to be cheated again!
I always wondered what would have happened if that cheated customer came to church one Sunday and saw my Christian business friend leading in worship. There’s a businessman that would have lost far more than a customer. He would have lost his influence, too!

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