Then in the audience of all the people He said unto His disciples, Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; Which devour widows’ houses, and for a show make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation. Luke, Chapter 20, verses 45-47.
This reminds me of old westerns I used to watch on TV. It would show the banker (not to imply this is the way bankers are or this behavior is limited only to bankers.) He would appear nice enough, saying hi to the husband, tip his hat to the wife and did “coochie coos” to her baby. This banker is a good upstanding churchgoer. He appears to be the pillar of society, a role model to others.
Then as the plot thickens, the banker and his cohorts try to squeeze the farmer and his family off their land. He secretly knows there is a lot of profit to be gained by that particular piece of property. The husband dies in a freak accident which is highly suspicious. Then the banker comes to give the grieving wife his condolences and tell her how sorry he is about her loss. He says that out of the goodness of his heart, he will give the wife an extra month’s extension on paying what is owed on the property before he forecloses on their mortgage.
The rest of the movie is dedicated to showing how the banker and his cohorts try to make it difficult for her, and those that befriend her, to pay the money owed. Of course, in the movie, good wins out over evil and the lady and her baby get to stay in their home. But, in real life; that doesn’t always happen.
There are some who are very cunning and would have no remorse for evicting the widow and her child from their home, because they are within their rights as far as the law goes. These people would continue to go to church without a guilty conscience, because they have rationalized their actions. The thing is…God knows what they do and no amount of rationalization is going to cut it with God for those who take advantage of widows and orphans!
Here is a related passage:
*Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Matthew, Chapter 23, verse 14.
Because this an example of how I’ve applied these Bible passages to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passages.