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Christian Pioneer - eBook for Cell Phone - The Deceitfulness of Riches 



Chapter 9 - Gaining a Competitive Edge

Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation. - Mark 12:40

Another deceitful element of riches is the extent to which rationalization and justification can be employed to excuse almost any act including the exploitation of the weak and vulnerable such as widows.

WOE TO those [judges] who issue unrighteous decrees, and to the magistrates who keep causing unjust and oppressive decisions to be recorded, To turn aside the needy from justice and to make plunder of the rightful claims of the poor of My people, that widows may be their spoil, and that they may make the fatherless their prey! And what will you do in the day of visitation [of God's wrath], and in the desolation which shall come from afar? To whom will you flee for help? And where will you deposit [for safekeeping] your wealth and with whom leave your glory? - Isaiah 10:1-3 Amp

Most people can look at a situation and see if there is a potential for gain. Those who give little consideration as to who might be harmed are similar to those who give little consideration to risk. The persistence and temporary success of 'pyramid schemes' testify to the willingness of people to be drawn into risk by their assessment that others could be similarly exploited.

The potential for gain blinds the greedy to both risk to themselves and harm to others. Even Christians can come to see disadvantage to others as their own fault for not being 'competitive'. This is more common among those who have embraced the political philosophy of Libertarianism. The attraction of this view is that it seems to justify the idea that one is entitled to whatever one can get and that those who fall short in this Darwinian arena deserve their fate because they were not clever enough, strong enough, or ruthless enough to contend for what was there for the taking. The main problem with this philosophy is that it is difficult to limit it so that it does not extend to justify the actions of thieves and murderers.

The problem with this sort of deception is that seldom will those held captive by it ever even consider that they do not see clearly.

And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. - John 9:40-41

While the greedy seek after riches, those who have obtained them, even in small measure, often come to have a distorted view of themselves and drift increasingly further from truth.

The rich man is wise in his own conceit; but the poor that hath understanding searcheth him out. - Proverbs 28:11

But whoso hath the world's goods, and beholdeth his brother in need, and shutteth up his compassion from him, how doth the love of God abide in him? - 1 John 3:17


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