Working in the life insurance arena for the past 40 years, I’m frequently confronted by prospective clients looking for ways to reduce their business and personal tax burdens.

Taxes can greatly affect profit margins and not only the accumulation of wealth but the growth of small businesses as well. And, I can certainly understand why business owners are constantly looking for loopholes.

Looking for loopholes is certainly not limited to tax strategies. Many aspects of life can be affected by challenges made to laws and agreements allowing parties to weasel out of their obligations.

For example, irreconcilable difference is considered sufficient ground for divorce in many states. I’m afraid I’ve been confronted by that particular loophole early in my personal life. Certainly, that’s one loophole that is not pleasing to God Almighty!

More than 60 years ago, there were several separate accounts of friends of W.C. Fields witnessing the renowned comedian reading the Bible in bed as he prepared to die.

Upon being confronted with the question what he was doing, the 66-year-old Fields quipped “Looking for loopholes.”

Fields, born William Claude Dukenfield in 1880, lived a vicarious life, and many considered him an atheist based upon his lifestyle.

All I can say about Fields is this: There are no loopholes in God’s inerrant word. There are no small mistakes that someone can uncover to twist God’s Word for their advantage and benefit.

I suspect Fields came to that same conclusion, and his comment was no more than a sober response as he neared his final breath. For his sake, I can only hope he came to submit to our Lord Jesus before it was too late.

Yes, there are loopholes that can be advantageous here on earth, but they won’t get you into Heaven.

God’s plan of salvation is set in stone and we must accept it as the only way to eternal life.

In John 14:6, we are informed “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”

That’s what God’s Word says and it’s good enough for me — and should be good enough for you as well.

As a Christian businessman, I often turn to the Book of James, and James 4:13-16 sends a resounding message for all in business:

“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will do this or that.’ As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.”

Then, James adds the final nail to the coffin in verse 17: “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it sins.”

We all need Jesus as our Redeemer to defend us from the righteous judgment of God that will eventually take place. There is no escaping — looking for loopholes won’t help at all!

So, it’s a fine practice to open God’s Word, but don’t waste your time looking for loopholes.

Instead, pray for God’s guidance and search those Scriptures your Christian friends recommend you read as you consider a lasting relationship with the Living God!

Passages to Ponder

Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. He can be contacted at for more information. The opinions expressed are his own.