The Real Secret of Success

"And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbor; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD” (Zechariah 8:17).

When Israel resettled in their own land after the Babylonian captivity, the sin of Idolatry never again became a serious problem. They appeared to have learned their lesson. But was that old sin really gone out of their hearts? Though not written till centuries later, these words were just as true in Zechariah's day—"Mortify, therefore…covetousness, which is idolatry" (Colossians 3:5).

Today's passage focuses on Israel's social and business practices. Injustice and dishonesty were rampant across the economic spectrum and had even infected the court system. What was driving this moral erosion? Selfish interests. The masses were still idolaters, only this time it was worse—they had crowned Self on the throne of their hearts!
Making a profit or winning a legal challenge at the expense of God's favor only brings a curse on success. Why? "...for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD" (v.17). However, compared to selfishness, pleasing God is a pure motive and far stronger.

A shoeshine boy once polished the dull shoes of a customer with unusual zeal and attention to detail. The man was impressed that he would work so hard for so little money. When asked for his reason, the lad replied: "I recently accepted Jesus as my Savior, and I just want to please Him!" This is the real secret of success.

Dear Lord, help me to hate the things you hate, as much as love the things you love. Keep my heart in this way. In Jesus' sweet name, Amen.