2 Corinthians 8:16-24
But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you.…
Only extraordinary circumstances can give the appearance of dishonesty to an honest man. Usually, not to seem honest, is not to be so. The quality must not be doubtful like twilight, lingering between night and day and taking hues from both; it must be daylight, clear and effulgent. No one has honesty without dross, until he has honesty without suspicion.
1. Some men find in their bosom from the first a vehement inclination to dishonest ways. Knavish ways are inherited from dishonest parents.
2. A child naturally fair-minded may become dishonest by parental example. He may be taught to be sharp in bargains, and vigilant for every advantage. Little is said about honesty, and much about shrewd traffic. Whatever profit breaks no legal statute — though gained by falsehood — is considered fair.
3. Dishonesty is learned from one's employers.
4. Extravagance is a prolific source of dishonesty. The desire to be thought affluent; to outrival others in display.
5. Debt is an inexhaustible fountain of dishonesty. The debtor learns cunning tricks, concealments, excuses.
6. Bankruptcy, although a branch of debt, deserves separate mention.
7. There is a circle of moral dishonesties practised because the law allows them. Gentlemen who can break the whole of God's law so adroitly as to leave man's law unbroken.
8. Political dishonesty breeds dishonesty of every kind. The idea that all is fair in politics has to be smitten.
9. A corrupt public sentiment produces dishonesty.
10. Financial agents are especially liable to the temptations of dishonesty. Their whole attention falls directly upon naked money. The hourly sight of it whets the appetite.
11. Executive clemency, by its frequency, has been a temptation to dishonesty. Who will fear to be a culprit when a legal sentence is the prelude of pardon?
12. Criminal speculations are prolific of dishonesty. Speculation is the risking of capital in enterprises greater than we can control, or in enterprises whose elements are not all calculable.
(H. W. Beecher.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you.