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Experiences

Ill-Gotten Gain
by Carl E. Carey, Jr.

Can we be real? For the last couple of days, I have been furious over a business-deal gone bad. Somebody actually tried to rip me off! I have experienced the shady side of business before, but never like this. To have someone actually try to steal from me has certainly been an experience that I will never forget.

This life event has reminded me of a scripture that speaks to the subject of ill-gotten gain. In this world of greed and selfishness, at some point in your life, you are likely to come upon someone who is willing to use unethical means to get something that they want from you. The sad thing is that for awhile, some people actually succeed and acquire money, material things or status by having absolutely no regard for other people. Despite their shameful tactics, it appears that they prosper.

The Bible tells us in Psalm 37: 1-2 that we should not envy wicked men who prosper because at some point, they and their success will simply wither away. As Christians, often times we see immoral people who do all the wrong things profit and benefit from their evil ways. The Bible tells us not to worry, not to fret, because ill-gotten gain simply doesn’t last—it withers away.

Not only is this a lesson about dealing with unscrupulous people in this world, but it is also a reminder that we should always handle our business in Godly way. Always be fair with people and try your best to do right by them. It is so easy to get caught up in achieving and attaining things in this life, that if you are not careful, you can lose your religion in your quest to gain something for yourself. Do not to be tempted by the things of this world. In Ecclesiastes, we learn from Solomon’s splendor that even if you do have everything this world has to offer, that in the end, it is all meaningless… a chasing after the wind. In other words, Solomon is saying from his life experience that even if you do have it all— you really have nothing because it’s all temporary—it simply doesn’t last. Don’t spend your life chasing after things that won’t mean anything to you in the years to come. Spend your time chasing after that which is permanent—your place in Heaven with God.

For the man who tried to rip me off, I told him that his deplorable tactics would eventually cause him to have an unsuccessful business. He probably doesn’t believe me, but when his day of reckoning comes, I’m sure that he will remember our conversation.

As people who love God, we must always strive to do the right things in life and treat people as we want to be treated. Whatever that goal or thing is that you are striving for, it’s okay to want it…it’s okay to work hard to get it—but make sure you do it in a way that God would approve of.





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