Jesus says to me, "Do not defraud." How quickly I agree with my friend, "I have observed this since my youth."
And in the pause that follows, I sink into the love in His eyes and begin to see as He sees and feel the wounds that He feels. Wounds that I have inflicted upon another, the least of these, landing on Him.
The subtle way I have taken advantage of a stranger to my benefit, thinking, because he was a stranger, that it didn't matter. Taking the place of another to receive the benefit due him. Receiving the reward for another's work.
Looking with longing at what someone else has, and scheming how I might get it. Wanting it simply because they have it. Not one like it - but what they have. As much so that they don't have it as that I have it.
The strange manipulation of the scales so that the outcome is in my favor and to my advantage, even if at cost to another. Calculations that benefit my bottom line, but hurt someone else's. The lowest price gotten at high cost.
Information withheld, so that a decision is made without knowing what is needed to be known in order to make a wise decision. Withheld because, if they knew what I know, they wouldn't buy what I am selling. After all, "let the buyer beware." Fingers crossed, lest it break before the money is in the bank.
A knowingly cultivated, but wrong, image for my gain. Relationships and associations falsely claimed for benefit. Never spoken but false impressions leading others to treat me in better ways than they would otherwise.
"Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh upon me. Search my heart for all of the secret ways and hidden sins which I can barely acknowledge even when I see them in the mirror. Give me the courage to lift them up. Cleanse the poisons by your sweet, healing, soothing, Presence."