The severe consequences of using dishonest scales in business

I believe that God wants us to learn and understand through the events that are taking place in the world because they will show us the natural consequences of what He has laid out in His word. They also serve as warnings for us (as the body of Christ) to get ourselves in alignment with God (confess, repent and turn away from our wicked ways) so that we don’t fall into the same ‘predicament’ (Revelation 18:4 – And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not be a partner in her sins and receive her plagues). The scandal that has rocked German car maker Volkswagen (VW) is one such example that I believe we need to learn from and gives us a glimpse of what will eventually happen if we use ‘dishonest scales’ in our ministries, businesses and other entities that God has given us stewardship and influence over.

Let’s take a look at what the Bible says

Proverbs 11:1 gives us a clear message from God –

(NLT) – The Lord detests the use of dishonest scales, but he delights in accurate weights.

(AMP) – A false balance and dishonest business practices are extremely offensive to the Lord, but an accurate scale is His delight.

(The Message) – God hates cheating in the marketplace; he loves it when business is above board.

Proverbs 20:23 also repeats these words –

(NLT) – The Lord detests double standards; he is not pleased by dishonest scales.

(AMP) – Differing weights are detestable and offensive to the Lord, and fraudulent scales are not good.

(The Message) – God hates cheating in the marketplace; rigged scales are an outrage.

VW admits cheating
VW built a software application in their diesel vehicles that manipulates and falsifies the readings of the true emissions from their vehicles. On Friday, September 18, he Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discovered this and it has since been discovered that about 11 million cars are affected. The emissions scandal is the biggest in VW’s history. The automaker has now admitted it cheated on emissions tests, misinforming US regulators about the measurements of toxic emissions in some of its diesel cars.

Severe consequences
The consequences since the announcement have been devastating for VW and I believe this is just the beginning. VW could face numerous lawsuits and $18 million in penalties in the USA with more in other nations whose environmental rules they have violated. A damaged reputation could also affect revenue from car sales for years to come. VW has recalled nearly half a million vehicles as a result of the scandal. The share price of VW has dropped by over 30% which means investors have lost 30% of their wealth in the company. This equates to R400 billion worth of value lost by shareholders. The CEO Martin Winterkorn has resigned – the first of many executive resignations or firings that is expected to come out of this. This is what happens when a company uses ‘dishonest scales’ in business.

Biggest German investor in South Africa
Volkswagen is the biggest German investor in South Africa, having operated a plant in Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape since 1951 which employs 6 000 and produces 116 000 VW Golfs annually of which a large proportion are exported. We can only hope that the effects of this ‘fall’ will not affect jobs in South Africa and hence contribute to the already volatile economic environment prevailing here.

Another quick look at the Bible

Leviticus 19:35-36

(The Message) – “Don’t cheat when measuring length, weight, or quantity. Use honest scales and weights and measures. I am God, your God. I brought you out of Egypt”.

(NLT) – “Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight, or volume. Your scales and weights must be accurate. Your containers for measuring dry materials or liquids must be accurate. I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt”.

So what is the lesson that we need to take away?
As business people, ministry leaders, government officials (irrespective of if we run a R10, 000 a year or a R100 billion a year organisation), the principle of ‘dishonest scales’ applies to us. God makes it very clear that ‘dishonest scales’ are an abomination (extremely offensive) to Him and so there will always be dire consequences to it. Dishonest scales can be something that seems trivial such as falsifying income tax returns, attendance figures at events or listenership and viewership numbers on media platforms, or as big as manipulating financial reports and industry collusion to name a few. Any manipulation of the truth for financial gain equates to using dishonest scales.

As the body of Christ we cannot compromise on this issue. At the end of the day let’s be very clear – any falsification of information for financial gain is a manifestation of the ‘worship of mammon’. It is an indication of desiring material gain more than obedience and reverence to God.

God will prosper the work of our hand
God promises that He will prosper the work of our hand – but his promise is conditional to us doing our work in a way that honours Him and in obedience to His instructions. This is time for the body of Christ to do business according to the ways of the King of Kings so that He can show the world how His ways are the only way to get a guaranteed return of investment and build wealth on earth and in heaven.

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One Comment

  1. Well written Patrick! Shocking that VW has been around for decades as a symbol of trust and then do this in spite of Corporate Governance!