Money and Morals

Safe Piggy Shows Restricted Permission Money BoxDo money and morals and ethics and economics have to be mismatched pairs? Recent scandals involving prominent businesses and the less than ethical behavior among the ranks of famous athletes makes me wonder.

The “swiping” policy of Visa is a money and morals issue that caught the eye of the Wall Street Journal. According to the WSJ, “Walmart has sued Visa for more than $5 billion, claiming the card network charged unreasonably high fees when the retailer’s customers paid with plastic . . . Wal-Mart alleges that Visa violated antitrust regulations and generated more than $350 billion for card issuers over nine years, in part at the expense of the retailer and its customers.”

Apparently, corporations and individuals need to examine the morals clause of the Bible.

• Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight or quantity. Use honest scales and honest weights ~Leviticus 19:36
• The LORD abhors dishonest scales, but an accurate weight is his delight ~Proverbs 11:1
• Those who long to be rich, however, stumble into temptation and a trap and many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evils. Some people in reaching for it have strayed from the faith and stabbed themselves with many pains. But you, as a person dedicated to God, keep away from all that. Instead pursue righteousness, godliness, faithfulness, love, endurance, and gentleness ~I Timothy 6:9-11

Money is not the problem, but the love of money is. The love of money warped the wisdom of Judas Iscariot, and he betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

When I think of money and morals, I think of Bernard Madoff. His ethical backbone had the substance of a sponge. His love for money sowed the seeds of mistrust, ruined friendships, and robbed his investors of their retirements.

The word “moral” has a root meaning associated with the idea of “character, custom or habit.” This begs the question: If the character is tainted, can the habit be sainted?

The words of Horace Greeley offer an appropriate conclusion: “Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wing, and only character endures.”

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