An Honest Day’s Work

042215 Damaged RoofWhen you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong. (Matt. 5:37, MSG)

How many times have you heard someone say, “I’d rather ask for forgiveness than permission?”

And how many times have you said it?

The assumption is that someone will disapprove of the choice you want to make. But they and you want to make it anyway and hope that later forgiveness flows.

The reality is we are most often doing something dishonest.

As I struggled to grow my insurance agency in its second year, one of my largest clients called to report the roof of one of his rental houses had collapsed due to rot and deterioration. He knew it wasn’t a covered claim. Still he asked if I would cite the loss as “storm damage” so the insurance company I represented would pay for it.

I knew the stakes were high. I could lose one of my largest customers if I said anything other than “yes.”

I took a deep breath and said, “The company I represent sends me a check twice a month for my honest work. I would be a fool to lie to them. But, I will make you a promise: I will never, ever lie to you either.”

The silence on the other end of the phone lasted forever . . . and then he said, “Well Mike, you’ve just embarrassed me terribly. But you’ve also secured a customer for life.” He remained a loyal customer from then on.

I closed the office one afternoon about 14 years later so our entire team could attend the funeral of this customer. Our business relationship blossomed into such an intimate association that attending the funeral was a priority.

You are challenged in your work to do or say something that is not quite honest almost weekly. When you are there, work Faith Positive and do the following:

  1. If you were on the other end of your dishonest words or actions, would they be acceptable to you?

Remember Jesus’ words: Here is a simple rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s law and the prophets and this is what you get. (Matt. 7:12, MSG)

  1. When honesty is your only choice, you never have to worry about getting caught.

And don’t say anything you don’t mean . . . Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no’. (Matt. 5:33, MSG)

  1. You reap what you sow.

Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back, given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity. (Luke 6:38, MSG)

Your words and actions reflect how Christ-like you live. Ask Jesus to be your only guide even at work.

Will you still make mistakes? Certainly.

But the few times you have to ask for forgiveness will be overshadowed by your Faith Positive lifestyle of honesty and integrity.

Speak and work Faith Positive in a negative world.

Mike Van Vranken