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Light-fingered woman pays heavy price

Proverbially speaking: Philippa Smale takes a look at some of the Proverbs from the Bible

Integrity and trust are important in all areas of life

'Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out' Proverbs 10:9 New International Version

THE woman had been stealing from her firm for quite a long time. It was easy to do. As shop manager, she found it wasn’t difficult to tweak the books every month so she could pocket a few extra pounds.

Her justification ran something like this: ‘It’s a big firm, so it isn’t going to miss the odd £50 or £100. They don’t pay me enough to do this job anyway. I deserve something extra. It’s such a small amount, they’ll never miss it. And I’m not the only one doing such things by a long way.’

However, when the firm called in inde­pendent auditors to examine the books, the woman’s light-fingeredness was exposed.

She lost her job, her business reputation and, indeed, her freedom, as she served a jail term. Nor was she the only employee to find themselves in that position. As she surmised, she wasn’t the only one who was stealing, and it was the build-up of losses which alerted the firm to what was going on.

It took quite a long time for that woman to get her life back on the right track, and she felt that no one ever trusted her com­pletely again.

Integrity and trust are important in all areas of life. When a person has the reputa­tion for straight dealing and honesty, they don’t have to be afraid of scrutiny or judg­ment. Their conscience is clear. They can walk securely in the knowledge that no one can accuse them of being deceitful.

The crooked path might sometimes look more attractive than the narrow way of doing what is right. But ultimately it leads in the wrong direction.

There is no reason to stay on the wrong path, though. It may be hard to regain a reputation once it is lost in the eyes of the world but, as far as Jesus is concerned, once a person accepts him as Lord and Saviour, their feet are on the right path and they are headed the right way.

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