Pondering Proverbs: The Biblical BBB (Part 1)

 A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is His delight.
Prov. 11:1 NASB

According to my Google search findings, the first Better Business Bureaus (BBB) began in 1912. Today, BBBs serve communities across every state in the U.S. as well as the District of Columbia. You’ll find BBBs in 13 provinces of Canada, and a few branches in Mexico. Evaluating and monitoring local and national businesses and charities is their main job. Honest advertising and selling practices mean customer satisfaction, and that’s good business. [info from Wikipedia and]

In my reading of Proverbs over the years, I noticed a few verses dealing with weights, balances, and scales. The fact that false or differing weights are an abomination to the Lord caught my eye. An ABOMINATION. That’s strong language! In other words, according to the New Living Translation, Contemporary English Version, and Amplified Bible, if a buyer or seller is being dishonest when doing business, God hates it, He detests it, and it’s extremely offensive and shamefully sinful!

In the days of the writing of Proverbs, a dishonest buyer or seller might secretly carry in his bag a stone (weight) for buying and a different stone (weight) for selling. The practice was clearly wrong and used for the sake of the cheater’s own gain. Though our methods for measuring and weighing have changed considerably, the illegal practice continues, just with a different look in the 21st century.

What might the application be for us today? Whether you work for a company, own your own business, or are a consumer of goods, none of us is exempt from the temptation to be dishonest, even unfair, when buying or selling.  Ask yourself these questions:

Have I ever eaten fruit in my buggy before purchasing it?

As an employee, have I been paid for hours that I didn’t actually work?

As a business owner, have I ever knowingly sold defective merchandise at full cost?

Do you attempt to use coupons for items that aren’t exactly what is printed on the coupon?

Ok, enough of the negative already! I think you get my point.

Let us be encouraged by the last half of our theme verse today –

but a just weight is His delight. (emphasis mine)

Whether we’re the consumer or the provider, let’s be found trustworthy and fair at all costs. God loves it when we do what is right, whether we’re shopping for merchandise or running our own business.  He’s pleased when the rule we live by is one of integrity.                                                                  [Digging Deeper – Deut. 25:13-15; Prov. 16:11, 20:10, 23; Amos 8:4-6; Micah 6:10-13]

Counting the cost,

Beverly <><



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