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Covid-19 Devotionals

Cheating

I needed to have our trailer’s license renewed today as the license expired on 30 September (though the law gives us 21 days to do the renewal). As we also needed to get Jenny’s prescription at Dischem Pharmacy, I asked her to travel with me. The first stop was the Post Office in Waverly to do the license renewal. I walked into the Post Office and stood in the queue.

There was a voice behind me saying something. I looked around to see a woman seated with a sanitizer spray in her hand. She was asking whether I have come to renew a license. I greeted her and said I was. She then said, “We are out of green paper”. What she meant was the paper used to print the licenses had run out. Someone did not order timeously. I asked her when the green paper would arrived. Her response was, “maybe tomorrow”. As I was walking out of the Post Office, other people started walking out too. They obviously needed the green paper as well.

Off to Dischem we went to get the prescription and then to the Drive Thru Vehicle License facility in Schoeman Street on the western side of the city. They have a facility there to pay the Municipal Bill as well. Although we were about the twelfth vehicle in the License renewal queue, we did not wait that long. What surprised me was two vehicles, at different times, parked in the street, and in both cases, a lady walked to the License Renewal Drive Thru facility with documents to do her business. Naturally, this caused the queue to move slower. There is a word for such people who buck the system not wanting to queue. The word is “cheat”.

Is it not sad that so many people cheat? In so many stores that are busy people cheat … they push in. You have seen this so often. It even happens at the airport or the queue waiting for a boat trip to Robben Island at the Water Front in Cape Town or the Cable Way Station nearby.

Why is it that people cheat like this? I would say it is because people are selfish. They have no feelings for those who wait for long periods in queues. They are in a hurry. They don’t want to be inconvenienced. But it does not only relate to queues. As we traveled this morning, we saw a number of occupants in vehicles throw paper wrappings out of the vehicle window. “Litter the city! I can’t be bothered with taking the wrapping home and putting it into the garbage bin.”

As I started writing this note, our electric fence’s alarm went off. Although it was pouring with rain, I needed to check to see what the problem was. I found the branches of my neighbour’s tree hanging on our electric fence (the branches encroach by at least a quarter of the tree into our property. You may have read about this situation before in another Daily Note.) The rain water made the branches extra heavy, and the weight caused the branches to sag until they could not sag anymore. It’s all about selfishness. That is the society we live in. Amongst all the other problems of corruption and fraud and gender based violence … we have cheating and selfishness!

As you are aware, Malachi (last Book of the Old Testament) predicts that God will end the Levitical Priesthood and sacrifice and that through the Messiah people from all nations will fear God and worship Him. The priesthood was corrupt and permitted the people to bring offerings to sacrifice that were unacceptable to God. Listen to what God says to them:

Mal 1:13 When you bring injured, crippled or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?” says the LORD. 14 “Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the LORD Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.”

When people permit sin to build up to cheating and selfishness, the spill over is the same attitude towards God! What you do to people, you will eventually do to God. That is the way sin works. It starts small but grows and develops, and when full blown, sin’s direct focus is God. So, if selfishness and cheating is against people and against God, it eventually migrates into the church!

1Co 6:7 The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 8 Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers.

It is so sad that people who say they are “blood washed” and part of the Eternal Kingdom of Jesus, yet resort to cheating and wrongdoing within and amongst the church people! Look at that phrase … “and you do this to your brothers.” See the process? First towards the world, then towards God and then towards His people … your true family! One needs to stop and ask, “Are such people really Christian in the first place?” Although we don’t see “cheat/cheating” in the acts of the sinful nature list, we do see Paul speak about selfishness in Galatians:

Gal 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But then, all these acts are acts of cheating against God. You might recall me saying months ago that I used to burn with anger when taxis’ and other vehicles overtake on the left shoulder (emergency land) or on solid white/yellow line. Jenny would say sarcastically, “He needs to be in the front.” The real issue is that those who are selfish and cheats are expressing their depraved nature that has not been redeemed. No one who behaves this way could have been influenced/affected by the Gospel, for by the Gospel the Spirit of God brings conviction leading to confession of sin and repentance. Repentance, a concept that few understand, simply means to walk the other way. To turn that 180 degrees and move off in the other direction. It means to stop the sinful practice and follow the godly practice. Leave the devil’s way and follow Jesus’ way!

Dear God, graciously pardon me for every time I have cheated and been selfish. Cause me to live a life of true repentance that points to the Lordship of Jesus in my life. Help me to be prayerful for those who cheat and follow selfish ambitions. I know they do what they do because they do not know You personally. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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