Cursed is the one who does the Lord’s business deceitfully.
Jeremiah 48:10 (HCSB)
That was true then; it is true now. The footnote in Holman for “deceitfully” is “negligently.” Whether the better rendering is the former or the latter is not significant. The point is that business done before the Lord (or in His Name) that is done wrongly is sin, and He will not put up with it.
How much business is done in God’s Name today! The church—and religious organizations in general—are deeply involved in money-making activities. But careless, sloppy or deceitful methods cannot withstand His perusal. How His people handle His money in transactions of various sorts is a matter of concern to God.
In III John, it is clear that missionaries “took nothing of the Gentiles [the unsaved to whom they preached] for the sake of the Name.” How Christians deal with funds is of importance to the spread of the truth. Here were men who went out to offer the Gospel feely to the lost. They, therefore, rightly refused to raise their support among the unsaved to whom they preached. That decision was highly commended in the book.
In addition, John encourages His people to financially support such men so that they would not have to sully the Lord’s Name by seeking funds from the unsaved.
The passage in Jeremiah may or may not have to do with money alone. It probably has to do with carrying on the Lord’s activities—of whatever sort they may be. In either case, they must be done conscientiously, not slovenly, nor as “sharp” traders and businessmen. As Christians, all of our business is also the Lord’s “business” since we represent Him in all that we do. So, His condemnation of those who do not take care to do business as it should be done should be of importance to all of us.
Believer, take note. Counselor—is there something here for you to think about when counseling Christians?