Job was generous and helpful, not selfish and covetous. He said: “If . . . the eyes of the widow I would cause to fail, and I used to eat my morsel by myself, while the fatherless boy did not eat from it . . . If I used to see anyone perishing from having no garment . . . If I waved my hand to and fro against the fatherless boy, when I would see need of my assistance in the gate, let my own shoulder blade fall from its shoulder, and let my own arm be broken from its upper bone.” And Job would not have kept his integrity if he had said to gold: “You are my trust!”—Job 31:16-25.
Such poetic expressions may remind us of these words of the disciple James: “The form of worship that is clean and undefiled from the standpoint of our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation, and to keep oneself without spot from the world.” (Jas. 1:27) We may also recall Jesus’ warning: “Keep your eyes open and guard against every sort of covetousness, because even when a person has an abundance his life does not result from the things he possesses.” Jesus then gave an illustration about a covetous rich man who died as one “not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:15-21) To be integrity keepers, we must not succumb to sinful covetousness or greed. Covetousness is idolatry because the object of a greedy person’s craving diverts attention from Jehovah and thus becomes an idol. (Col. 3:5) Integrity and greed do not mix!