Transformation Garden - June 14, 2010

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1.  "Achish would ask, ‘Against whom have you made a raid today?' And David would reply,' Against the South of Judah, or the Jerahmeelites, or of the Kenites'"
I Samuel 27: 10, Amplified Bible

2.  "So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them there before the Lord?"
II Samuel  5: 3

EXPLORATION 

"Deception Versus Honesty" 

"An honest (person's) the noblest work of God."
Alexander Pope

What does it mean to me to be honest?

Does true honesty mean I can tell a lie if in the end the results are good?

How do I live an honest life each day?

"For the Christian, honesty is not the best policy, it is the only one."
John Blanchard

INSPIRATION 

"One thing you can give and still keep is your word." 
Anonymous 

"A person who kept her word." If there's any phrase I would like to be remembered by, it is this one.

Having owned a company for many years, there's nothing that makes me happier than to hear a client say, "You kept your word."

I'll never forget an incident which happened many years ago. Our business is very complicated. The risk of something being printed or inserted incorrectly, especially when millions of pieces of printed material are involved, is very great. On this particular occasion, an insert was left out of a mailing piece. As I always tell our clients, when it's our error -- we stand by our work and correct it immediately at absolutely no cost to the client. In this situation, we redid the entire project and the end result for the client was that they got nearly twice the response rate they had projected.

You can imagine my shock when a few months later I received a call from an executive I worked for in another organization telling me that he was in a meeting, where the person heading up the organization who had experienced the problem worked. Seems this individual chose to blast our company in an extremely critical manner. I asked the person who brought this information to my attention, "Did this individual tell you what we did to correct the error? And did she tell you how she got double her normal results on the project?"

"No," he responded. "I had no idea you had corrected anything. That's why I called you. It didn't sound like something you'd do."

I was thankful he knew my word was good -- but I wondered about all the other people in the room who had heard the same story. So after consultation with my wise and Godly husband, Jim, I placed a phone call to the person who had experienced the problem. I endeavored to be my most diplomatic self. And  here's a brief summary of what I told her. I said, "All I have is my work and my word. This speaks volumes to the kind of business person I am. When I tell people my word is good and that if there is an error I will fix it, I want them to know they can count on this being truthful. It appears, by the phone call I received, that a room full of people were left with a false impression. You have the right to tell people our company isn't perfect and that we made a mistake. But I also feel that honesty requires you to let everyone know the full story and it's that we corrected the problem at no cost to you and that your results were even better than expected."

To her credit, at the next Executive Meeting, she informed everyone regarding what had transpired; apologized for giving only one side of the story; and then she remarked, "I learned a lot from this experience about being completely honest and how it affects another person's reputation."

The first President of the United States, George Washington, who was known for not wanting to ever lie or be deceptive, said, "I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man." I would add that, I'd like all God's daughters to be known as honest women, too!

David's life shows us that every person's heart contains the potential for honesty and deception. During a time of immense trial, when he was on the run from the murderous Saul, David, weary and tired, lost patience in waiting for God's deliverance and so he sought refuge under the protection of King Achish, a Philistine. While under this foreign protection, he practiced deception by leading the king to believe he was fighting the Israelites. He was not walking in the counsel of God when he was bent on deceiving even the Philistines.

Thankfully, by the time the elders of Israel chose to make David their king, the Bible tells us that David gave them his word, a covenant, before the Lord his God. David wanted the people he served to trust his word as a man of God. Isn't this the longing of all our hearts? To have the people around us know for certainty that what we speak is the truth. Some people say honesty is the best policy. Others say it is the only policy. God says honesty is the difference between right and wrong.

In a world where truthfulness is in such short supply, I know I want to purpose in my heart to speak only that which is "true before my God."

"The commandment of absolute truthfulness is really only another name for the fullness of discipleship."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer 

AFFIRMATIONS 

"Save us, O Lord, from the snares of a double mind. Deliver us from all cowardly neutralities. Make us to go in the paths of Thy commandments, and to trust for our defense in Thy mighty arm alone; through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Richard Hurrell Froude

Your friend,
Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus 
Dorothy@TransformationGarden.com

P.S.  My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus is available where Christian books are sold. They can also be purchased through Paypal at www.transformationgarden.com or by calling our office toll-free at 1-888-397-4348.

 

 

 

 

For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.

 
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