Do not trust in extortion or put vain hope in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them. Psalm 62:10
In the movie Caddy Shack, a priest lies about being sick on Sunday, so that he can spend a day on the golf course. Other than his caddy, Bill Murray, he plays the total game by himself. Every swing is incredible, eventually even hitting a hole in one. Because he was supposed to be at home sick, he has no one to share the knowledge of his incredible golf shots.
Shortcuts are so tempting. Sometimes they save time and money by helping you be more efficient. But when shortcuts violate your moral integrity, suffering is nearby. Even if you “get away with it”, the seed of compromise will find a way to bear fruit.
Think of some of the ways that we look for entitlement shortcuts – Not being honest on income and expenses on tax returns, so that you get a larger return; cheating with little bites when you have declared your dieting goals; bending the driving laws so that they benefit you (driving over the speed limit, texting while driving); or withholding information on the report at work, so that it makes you look like a better worker; not dealing honestly with money or payment to others; using others ideas without giving them credit. It’s not just the other guy cutting in line, that has a problem with shortcuts.
Some helpful questions to curb taking shortcuts
Am I being honest?
Will this activity pass the light test (being visible for all to see)?
Will I be disappointed with this decision in the immediate and/or long term future?
Who or what am I using as a standard for my choices? (is everybody “really” doing it?”)
Do I have a friend or spouse that knows my tendency to take a specific shortcut and they are willing to call me out for my actions?
When was the last time that I slowed down to let someone cut in front of me?
How does preferring others impact this shortcut decision?
King David, says that just looking at the short term benefits (increased wealth) of a shortcut is not sufficient to justify the choice to violate your conscience. Make sure that your standards for action remain consistent with godly principles. Your tomorrow self is cheering you on for making the right decision today.
Blessings Love y’all.