gamesDo you like to play board games? I love them. When my children were growing up we would play games all the time. We have a whole closet full of games.

As they got older, I would purge or sell some games to make room for others. My daughter was distraught when I sold the game, Don’t Wake Daddy. It was one of her all time favorites. Who knew? Clearly, I didn’t.

One of my favorite games to play is Taboo. I love giving or receiving the clues. I can get a bit competitive with it too. I’ve been known to drive a person or two crazy with the buzzer.

While people don’t bother me with things like that when playing games, I hate playing games with people who cheat. They take all of the enjoyment out of it. They also break trust with you and cause you to never want to do anything with them again.

This morning I stumbled across some cheaters as I had my quiet time. I decided to read from a less familiar book this morning. Many times when I read something very familiar to me I find myself skimming it instead of really digging in to find the treasure. I turned to Malachi and started reading at chapter 1 verse 1. God astounds me on a regular basis.

I love when I read words that were written thousands of years ago and they apply to life today.

In the book of Malachi I read how Israelites were cheaters. They were cheating God. Can you imagine?

God was pretty clear about what was required for sacrifices. Sacrificial animals were required to be without defect or blemish [Leviticus 22:21]. To offer God anything less than was blasphemous. Malachi tells how the people of Israel were bringing blind and lame animals to the priests for sacrifice. They were cheating God. What was equally is bad, if not worse, was the priests were accepting these animals when they clearly knew they weren’t pure. In doing so, they were condoning the Israelites’ actions.

Malachi 2:17 addresses this,

You have wearied the LORD with your words. “How have we wearied him?” you ask. By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”

Reading through Malachi 1 and 2 caused me to ask some questions of myself:

  1. Am I giving God things that are blemished or defective and hoping He won’t notice? Or am I giving Him my best? My best time, my best in my tithes and offerings, my best in service?
  2. Am I accepting of things that aren’t up to His standard and calling them good? Do I speak out when I see things that clearly contradict God’s ways or do I turn a blind eye? Do I condone things that offend God?

We live in a culture where everything is tolerated except Christians, our beliefs and our God.

We have to stay true to what we profess to believe in or we’re just blowing smoke. We have to do the right thing, even when it isn’t socially acceptable. Culture doesn’t get to dictate what is right or wrong for believers. Just because something is trendy doesn’t mean it’s right. Just because it is socially acceptable doesn’t make it acceptable.

As the saying goes,

Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.”

What do you believe? Does your lifestyle reflect it? Don’t cheat God. Speak up and stand up.