The story is told about the farmer who left his prized cow with another friend so he could go on a trip. The cow died while the farmer was gone. Upon his return, he was distraught to learn of his cow’s death.

“I was going to sell the cow,” he said. “I desperately need the money.”

Then he decided, “I will still sell the cow. I’ll do it by a lottery.” He sold 300 tickets at $2 each, and then presented the dead cow to the winner of the lottery. When the winner complained that he had no use for a dead cow, the farmer apologized and returned the $2 for his ticket. As per plan he retained the remaining $598!

Probably someone reading this is thinking, “smart farmer!” He found a way to get the money he needed. Hopefully, most readers are thinking what a wicked farmer. He sold the tickets under false pretences. He resorted to ethical misconduct to create a false “cash cow”. The farmer was willing to cheat 300 people just to get what he thought he needed. He sold out more than the lottery tickets, he sold his integrity.

Are you willing to deal in dead cows? When you resort to unethical conduct in an attempt to cure your problems its like selling a dead cow. Misrepresent the truth is lying. And in the story the farmer stole from 300 people. He disregarded the impact his scheme would have on others. His duplicity motivated him to treat others in a way he would never want to be treated.

What will guide your decisions? Will it be integrity or duplicity? The temptation to abandon values can be overwhelming. This is especially true if we allow our heart to entertain greed, pride, deceitfulness, unforgiveness or a lack of accountability.

Be careful when duplicity seems smart and if taking advantage of someone else seems inconsequential. Those are among the early warning signs that you might be a candidate to deal in dead cows.

Remember accomplishments never excuse a lack of integrity.

The end does not justify the means.

Todays decisions produce tomorrows reality.

“The integrity of the upright guides them,
but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity”
(Proverbs 11:3).