Food gained by fraud tastes sweet, but one ends up with a mouth full of gravel. – Proverbs 20:17
As a trained accountant, I have been able to assist some churches, organizations, and networks by performing an informal review (audit) of their books and financial statements. During a much overdue review of one such entity, I discovered a discrepancy of $2,200 between what had been reported by the treasurer and the amount recorded by the bank. Since the treasurer had served in the position for many years, I assumed that there was something I had looked over in my calculations. Certainly, an explanation was readily available. There was, but it was not what I expected. My simple questioning led the treasurer to admit his embezzlement of $14,000.
Was it my excellent auditing skills that caused this grievous error to be discovered? Not quite. Yes, I discovered the initial amount, but it was the treasurer’s own guilt that helped to clean up the mess. If this long-term volunteer had not confessed, it would have taken a lot more time to uncover the full extent of the fraud. It seems that he just got tired of the taste of “gravel.”
Ultimately, restitution was made, and this man was restored, but surely the scars of his actions remained. Whatever is achieved through unrighteous means will ultimately “sour” in our hearts and the only way forward is through the cleansing of confession (1 John 1:9).
It is only deliberate, willful sin that has not been confessed and forgiven that makes us feel that God has forsaken us, for that sin causes Him to hide His face from us. – Alan Redpath