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Abstain from Unjust Gain

May 16, 2019
By Martin Luther

Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous.

PSALM 37:16-17

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Abstain from Unjust Gain

Injustice does not bestow happiness or peace of conscience. He who accumulates gets no pleasure from it, and the heir is impoverished. For in the house of the godless man it is wiped out. Although riches are scraped together there, yet they are wiped out; for God blows, and he who accumulates does so into a pouch with a hole in it, as the poets relate about the sieve of the Danaides. Therefore he who is godly should be satisfied with a little, in accordance with the statement of Psalm 37:16. He should enjoy this, be glad with his wife and children, and abstain from unjust gain. The histories and books of all nations teach the same thing, namely, that it is far better for you to live on one or two guldens acquired in an honorable manner than on many thousands obtained in a shameful manner with harm to others.

From Lectures on Genesis (Luther's Works 5:66)

May 16