The Creator has destroyed whole communities for financial crimes such as usury, short-changing and overcharging. Usury has come in for particular criticism, and has been said by some to be worse than murder. When there is a murder, several households are touched by the tragedy But wherever there is usury, whole communities – wholes societies, even – are affected, and those effects may last for generations.
Spiritual short-changing can be just as damaging. Expecting more emotionally from others than we give to them makes for a relationship that is one-sided, selfish and ultimately toxic. Worse than this is when we short-change the Creator. He gives us existence and decorates us with reflections of His beautiful names and attributes, asking only that we ‘give back’ those names and attributes to Him as a ‘beautiful loan’. This means admitting that the names and attributes are His and using them for His sake and in His name only.
However, most of us prefer to keep the Divine attributes that we see reflected in ourselves and treat them as though they were our own – using them as *we* wish and for *our own* sake only. We receive vast treasures from Him and yet we are not ready to give anything back in return – even though it is all from Him in the first place. We forget that when death arrives, we will have to give everything back anyway, and that if it is not all given back willingly, it will be taken from us by force.