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In order to do what is right in our relationships with others, we must be true – both faithful and truthful. It is important to remember that faithfulness and truth – with the trust that they generate – are absolutely essential for our relationships with others to work, for so many aspects of our relationships are dependent on them. Accordingly we must avoid deceitfulness and associated dishonest practices. Bear in mind that deceitfulness is arguably the prime characteristic of Satan and evil.
So Naomi said, “Look, your sister-in-law is returning to her people and to her god. Follow your sister-in-law back home!” 16But Ruth replied, “Stop urging me to abandon you! For wherever you go, I will go. Wherever you live, I will live. Your people will become my people, and your God will become my God. 17Wherever you die, I will die – and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I do not keep my promise! Only death will be able to separate me from you!” Ruth 1:15-17 NET
Ruth’s promise to stand by her bereaved mother-in-law is a superlative expression of loyalty and commitment.
[Paul, to the Corinthian believers:] Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world with pure motives and godly sincerity, without earthly wisdom but with God’s grace—and especially towards you. 2 Corinthians 1:12b ISV
[Paul, to the Colossian believers:] Do not lie to one another since you have put off the old man with its practices 10and have been clothed with the new man that is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of the one who created it. Colossians 3:9-10 NET
Note that because much of what can be described as “dishonest gain” involves deceitfulness, a good portion of this section is also relevant to the previous section, Deceitfulness.
[Ezekiel, speaking of a righteous person:] He keeps his hand from doing wrong. He does not take too much interest or profit when he lends money. He obeys my laws and lives by my rules. He will not die for his father’s sin; he will surely live. 18But his father took other people’s money unfairly and robbed his brother and did what was wrong among his people. So he will die for his own sin. Ezekiel 18:17-18 NCV™