In street lingo, a player or person trying to rip you off is called a con, or a con man. In the Bible we are instructed to have our conscience exercised to discern good and evil. Since
Hebrews 5:14 commands: But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
The eternal question implied by this verse is this: What must we do exercise our senses to accurately always discern good and evil?
Let’s eliminate the science of the con, and be wise as serpents, gentle as doves, not allowing sneaky people to rip us off and lie to us.
Haggai 1:6 KJV
Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.
Notice in this verse, we set ourselves up for financial challenges, when we refuse to honor God with the first fruits of our income. God Himself will allow our financial protection to be removed, and allow us to self-destruct. If you haven’t figured out that God can help you do more with 90% of your income after you tithe, than you can do with 100%, please read this Bible study on our responsibility and blessing obtained when we tithe: https://www.chrisaomministries.com/2018/01/gods-provision-tithe
Nothing is as frustrating as being set up and ripped off in some business scam. We work so hard for the money we earn that it is a shot to the heart when someone steals from us. Yet, in our frustration, there is clear direction for us from the Word of God.
- We must forgive.
- We must seek God for direction and wisdom.
- We must present the amount of money stolen from us as an offering before the Lord, and ask Him to receive it.
- We must cry out to Him to replace what was stolen.
In my newest book, ‘Leadership in the River’ I tell a shark story from my treasure diving days, that illustrates this wonderfully. For your edification, I include it here: https://www.chrisaomministries.com/2014/11/a-shark-story
When I worked as a contractor, I had a client refuse to pay an $8500.00 invoice. At the time we had worked hard for six weeks to complete the contract. It was clear we were owed the money, but the client had me sign a 200-page contract. When I tried to collect my check, it became clear I had been set up from the beginning, that he never planned on paying me in the first place. I was infuriated and wanted to shoot him! I was so angry! Fortunately, I did not own a gun at that point. I am a man of God, so I cried out to God for justice. I verbally said the right words in prayer: ‘Father, I forgive this man for lying and stealing from me and my family. But every time I would think about it, a rage would well up within me as I thought about how hard we worked to earn that money and the suffering my wife and children underwent in the following weeks. I personally went without a paycheck. Finally, my wife and I made a quality decision after an anguished time of prayer when it was clear that this person was not going to pay us (he claimed to be Christian, a deacon in his local church). So, one morning in morning devotion, I felt the Lord deal with me about the hate and anger in my heart towards that man. I said, “Lord, I’ve forgiven this snake for lying and stealing from me, but You need to provide for us, because I still owe bills against that job.” He gently replied, “Son, you have forgiven him for lying and stealing from you, but you are mad about the money. Why don’t you offer that invoice up to me as an offering? I will receive it.” So, I dug that invoice out and laid it in the middle of our living room floor and knelt down with my wife. We took communion together, offering it up to Him as the price tag on our forgiveness. I had a fresh revelation of the verse: “
To do this was a great personal sacrifice, for it took six weeks of very tough carpentry work to earn that money, and I fully deserved to be paid for my work. Yet, as a living sacrifice, my work became my sacrifice, and the Lord received it.
I would love to say I woke up the next day unburdened and full of the joy of the Lord, but this was not the case. Yet the Lord did provide, awarding us five more carpentry contracts with another homebuilder who saw the quality of our workmanship and decided to give us a chance.
In fact, in bidding one of those contracts, I met a competitor on the job site who made the statement after I told him I was a Christian and that God was blessing us, “God must be helping you. I’ve been doing this work for twenty years and have much more experience than you do, yet you are being awarded contracts that I only dream about.”
Had I remained offended and bitter, we could not have negotiated nor performed these contracts that God clearly blessed us with. The problem with bitterness and a bad attitude is that it provides a toxic environment to everyone who encounters it. It not only lives in the pain of the past, but poisons your present and future.
Scripture is clear about it: Hebrews 12:15 looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
If we stay in bitterness, it hinders Gods ability to help us.
Even as Jesus died upon the cross, there is a cross for each of us to die upon, that He might live through us. For further reading on this critical and important topic, please read John Bevere’s great book The Bait of Satan.
Grudges only hurt us, not the person we hate or stonewall. For they allow demonic spirits to torture us and steal our peace. Forgive: It’s your life at stake.
- Come clean with God. Ask Him to show you all the things you’ve done that offend him, and ask Him to forgive you. Come clean with others. Ask God to show you all the people who have hurt you, and forgive them. I had to make a 21-page list, forgive them, and then burn the list.
- Come clean with yourself. Ask God to show you all the areas of your life where you are beating yourself up, and forgive yourself.
- Ask God to show you other people that are caught in this trap, and pray for them. There will be healing in it for you. (Job 42:10 NIV) After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.
 John Bevere, The Bait of Satan, Charisma House; Anniversary edition (January 7, 2014)