“All is fair in love, war and enterprise!” That seems to be the motto of western culture. And the heartbeat of enterprise is “Profit”! The Almighty Dollar reigns supreme in a materialistic culture and any course of action which turns a profit causes the enterprising to salivate.
So, for all intents and purposes, the materialistic western culture has raised an idol called ‘profit’. That is why the advice for all buyers in America is “Buyer Beware”. It seems that everyone accepts the right of the seller to rip-off the buyer. And why not, if profit is the universal morality?
I once purchased a $10 phone card in California, only to find that it had only $5 credit. When I contacted the company to rectify the fault I discovered it was not a ‘fault’ at all. The card was manufactured with only $5 phone credit. So I asked why they printed it with $10 on the card. The answer is that it is up to the retailer to advise me that the card only has $5 credit. Now, that’s deceptive, playing on the buyer’s acceptance of the clear impression given on the card that it is a $10 card and should provide $10 worth of credit.
When I shared this with others they smiled. They reminded me that in America the rule is “Buyer Beware!” If I was stupid enough to trust people then I deserved to be taken advantage of.
Profit Motive Overturns Morality
If ‘profit’ is the treasured moral value, then rip-off is the name of the game. Anything and everything that turns a profit is kosher. This then becomes the reality for everyone, from street peddler to global corporation. The Enron shenanigans reflect what must be reality for many corporations. Monopolies gain control of markets, not to benefit the consumer, but to optimise their profits. Facts are denied, as we saw in the tobacco industry and many drug and contamination cases. Responsibility is wrongly assigned, and so on.
Now, to be fair, no-one goes into business to lose money. But society is founded on moral principles. The most effective set of moral principles ever inculcated anywhere and at any time through human history is what we refer to as the Judeo-Christian values given to us in the Bible. When a culture moderates all of its practices by the standards expressed in the Mosaic law of the Old Testament and the teachings of Christ in the Gospels then it is able to dethrone the evil idols which would otherwise take over the society.
Sadly, the west has fled from Biblical standards and actively destroyed its Judeo-Christian foundations. Consequently we have evil idols rising from the sea of humanity. These are ugly beasts with fierce countenance and shameless blood-lust. They devour people’s houses, incomes, health, families, social assets, potential, reputation, and more, until they have wrung every drop out of the helpless.
One of these beasts is simply called ‘Profit’. Unrestrained, it is a leviathan. Caged by godly morality, it oils the wheels of enterprise.
I challenge you not to buy into the seduction of this evil spirit. When you find yourself gloating over someone taking advantage of another, stop to hear the sinister evil coming from your own chest. Don’t applaud those who defraud. Don’t envy those who perpetrate evil. Don’t justify the means by the end result of profit.
Beware the moral compromise which you set up inside yourself when you worship God on Sunday and then worship profit on Monday.
There’s profit in human embryos, abortion, drug dealing, deception, prostitution, tyranny, theft, extortion, blackmail, exploitation and a host of other things. If profit was prince then nothing else would be sacred. When you allow greed for profit to entwine your heart you are already being drawn to all kinds of evil.
How to Destroy this Idol
You need to revoke your worship of Profit. You need to commit yourself to God, trusting Him for the provision of all that you need. Then commit your business and your dealings to God, asking for His blessing on your enterprise. Commit at least a tenth of all you make to God. And ask God to keep your heart clean from greed, moral compromise, idolatry and evil.