Scamming, or intentionally deceiving people for personal gain, is sadly common in our fallen world. As Christians, what does God say about scamming and how we should respond to it? In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore the biblical principles and passages related to scamming, fraud, deception, cheating, swindling and taking advantage of others.
The Bible contains many warnings against dishonest practices that scam or take advantage of others. Scamming is inherently deceptive, often involves stealing, and violates God’s commandments to not bear false witness or covet. While certain scams may be technically legal, they are unethical and unbiblical.
As Christians, we are called to uphold truth, love others, earn an honest living, and care for the vulnerable who are often targeted by scammers. The Bible makes it clear that God hates unjust gain obtained by swindling and extortion (Ezekiel 22:12-13). Those who live with integrity are a light to the world and bring glory to God.
- God forbids scamming, swindling and unjust gain.
- Scams are rooted in deception, lies and greed.
- Christians must avoid scamming and care for the vulnerable.
- Earning money honestly brings God’s blessing.
- Integrity and truth reflect the light of Christ to the world.
What Does the Bible Say About Scamming and Swindling Others?
Many verses directly address deceitful business practices aimed at selfish gain:
- “The LORD detests the use of dishonest scales, but he delights in accurate weights.” (Proverbs 11:1 NLT)
- “The godly care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.” (Proverbs 29:7 NLT)
- “Don’t cheat your neighbor by moving the ancient boundary markers set up by previous generations.” (Proverbs 22:28 NLT)
- “Cursed are those who move their neighbor’s boundary stone!” And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’” (Deuteronomy 27:17 NLT)
These verses condemn adjusting weights and measures, moving property markers, and other unjust practices that scam people out of their fair wages, property or business. God cares deeply about honesty, fairness and justice, especially toward the poor and vulnerable.
The New Testament also condemns swindling and extortion:
- “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you cross land and sea to make one convert, and then you turn that person into twice the child of hell you yourselves are!” (Matthew 23:15 NLT)
- “But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.” (1 Corinthians 5:11 NIV)
As these verses show, Jesus hated religious hypocrisy that manipulated people for money. The apostle Paul taught believers to avoid brethren involved in swindling. Scamming for financial gain has no place among God’s people.
Bible Verses Against Lying, Deception and False Witness
At the heart of any scam is deception, falsehood and lies. The Bible contains many verses condemning these practices:
- “Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.” (Proverbs 12:19 NLT)
- “The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.” (Proverbs 12:22 NIV)
- “No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.” (Psalm 101:7 NIV)
- “You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness.” (Exodus 23:1 ESV)
- “So do not spread false reports. Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness.” (Exodus 23:1 NLT)
Lying, bearing false witness, and spreading false reports violate God’s commandments. A scam cannot happen without deceit. Christians must reject deception and lying in any form.
The book of Revelation warns that all liars will face God’s judgement:
- “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8 ESV)
For the sake of our souls, Christians must never participate in scams that require lying.
We Must Earn Money By Honest Work and Loving Others
While scammers look for quick money through greed and deceit, the Bible tells us to earn money honestly through hard work:
- “Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.” (Proverbs 10:4 NIV)
- “He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment.” (Proverbs 12:11 NIV)
- “Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the Lord will take up their case and will exact life for life.” (Proverbs 22:22-23 NIV)
- “Masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.” (Ephesians 6:9 NIV)
Rather than seeing people as targets for scams, Christians should treat others the way we wish to be treated (Matthew 7:12). Scamming the poor, needy and vulnerable is evil in God’s sight.
The Bible praises those who work diligently, earn honest wages, pay fair prices, and give generously to the needy. Christians should find contentment and sufficiency in whatever money God provides through ethical means (Philippians 4:11-13, 1 Timothy 6:6-8).
Integrity and Truth Reflect God’s Light to the World
The Bible calls Christians to live with integrity, reject greed, and embrace honesty:
- “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV)
- “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.” (Proverbs 11:3 NIV)
- “Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked.” (Psalm 37:16 NIV)
- “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.” (Proverbs 10:9 ESV)
Living honestly requires integrity and contentment. The temptation to “get rich quick” through scams must be rejected for the sake of our soul and witness.
When Christians refuse to take part in swindling or cheating others, we reflect the light of Christ in a dark world. Our lives point people to our Father in heaven, the source of truth.
In summary, the Bible clearly condemns scamming, deception and unjust gain. As followers of Jesus Christ, we must avoid the love of money, embrace contentment, work diligently, treat others justly, care for the needy, and reject all forms of dishonesty. Living with integrity allows God’s light to shine through us. May we honor the Lord with truthful and loving actions that draw people to the Savior.