False Profit

False Profit


Coveting is something that started back in the Garden of Eden. Eve saw that the fruit looked delicious, and she just had to have it – never mind the consequences, or the fact that God told her not to eat it. She thought she would profit from it, but what she gained was ‘false profit.’


King Saul became greedy when God told him to completely destroy the Amalekites and everything belonging to them. Saul decided to keep King Agag, as well as the very best of the animals. Saul’s false profit caused God to reject him as king. Later, we see where Saul’s false profit even opened him up to an evil spirit.


Nabal was also given to false profit. When King David’s servants went to Nabal, asking for some food, Nabal became very arrogant and selfish, thinking that it would profit him more to hold onto what he had, rather than sharing it. The very next day when Abigail told him how she and servants had helped David, Nabal’s heart failed him, and he died ten days later. Nabal was certainly a fool, just as his name says, and he gave in to false profit.


Judas decided that he wanted some profit, so he betrayed the King of Kings for a measly thirty pieces of silver. His false profit led him to hang himself.


Jesus told us that it doesn’t profit a man to gain the whole world, yet lose his soul. (Mark 8:36) Too often, we fix our eyes on what is seen, rather than the unseen. We lose sight of eternity, forgetting that our lives are nothing more than a vapor that appears for a short time, and then disappearing. (James 4:14) We struggle with setting our affections on the ‘here and now,’ rather than on things above. (Colossians 3:1-2)


We hear stories of men who climb the corporate ladder, not giving much thought to the excessive hours required at the office to succeed in their goal. Their false profit often results in a broken marriage, as well as broken children. After many years of hearing about the women’s liberation movement, we now see many a woman fall into the same trap. She seems to forget, or devalue, the impact that her presence has on her children. False profit can be so costly.


Even a stay-at-home mom can fall prey to false profit, thinking that she must put her children in every activity available. After all, the children do need to be properly socialized! Her false profit keeps her children from having time to play, enjoy life, and just plain ‘be kids.’ When they get socialized at all of these activities, mom doesn’t realize that a lot of that socialization is less than desirable. The children grow up, feeling pressures to constantly be somewhere, constantly be performing, or constantly competing. If they don’t meet Mom’s expectations and her agenda, then they have to deal with a very cranky, irritated Mommy. I wonder how many stress-related ailments these children end up with, all because of Mommy’s false profit.


King David went after false profit when he beheld Bathsheba. It led him down a sinister path when he discovered that Bathsheba was pregnant with his own child. In the end, he had her husband killed while in battle. His false profit resulted in the death of this baby. But, the story doesn’t end there. David was repentant, and out of that broken, repentant heart, he wrote Psalm 51. David discovered that God’s mercies are new every morning. (Lamentations 3:22)


It’s the same for us when we’ve chased after false profit. We need to pray for a godly sorrow that truly leads us to repentance. (II Corinthians 7:10) As we humbly repent, God will be faithful to wash us whiter than snow, restoring to us the joy of our salvation.


Are you chasing after any false profits?

© 2004, Stacy R. Miller




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