A few years ago I received a letter in the mail from a law firm. The firm was representing Getty Images, a website that sells stock photography asking us to prove that we purchased a certain image that was on our website. But we couldn’t provide the proof because, as the law firm suspected, we had used the image without purchasing it. We had to pay a hefty fine.
From that day forward, we became extremely cautious with the imagery we use on our website and our clients as well. Now we follow the rules and pay for our stock photography.
The fear of having to pay another fine keeps me on the straight path, even though there have been plenty of other opportunities to save money and just grab a free image I find on Google.
We all have opportunities in our businesses to lie, cheat and steal. We have ways to twist the truth, while covering it by making others think we are angelic.
How can we CHANGE our ways?
For me, a letter in the mail threatening a lawsuit if I didn’t pay fines helped me to change.
But do we need a lawsuit, bankruptcy or a breakup to reach us a lesson?
Well, actually, God will use whatever He can to get your attention and change your ways.
In the book of Acts, we come across an event that makes my point. A husband and wife sold their land and donated the proceeds to the early church. They told everyone that they gave ALL of the proceeds, but they lied, and only gave a portion.
Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.” (Acts 5:4 NIV)
That same day, they both died.
The amazing part of this incident is that everyone else who heard about this stopped cheating. They saw that God doesn’t play.
You can be told that downloading pirated movies is illigal. You can be warned by your accountant that using your company credit card for personal expenses is cheating on your taxes. You can cut corners on delivering the service or product that your customers purchased.
But you can’t stop God from knowing your ways, and doing something to correct it.
Knowing God is there to love us so much to want us to be better, we have two choices: 1) we can know that God expects more from us, and stop our ways, or 2) we can accept the consequences when the lawyer sends the letter and let it be a lesson for the future.
We should be so lucky that God loves us so much to send us a lawsuit so that we can grow to be the best representative of Him in this world.
Godpreneur Rules #74: Godpreneurs have a healthy fear of God that helps us grow.