Integrity Worth More Than Profit
Author Larry Burkett writes: [An] antique dealer [named] Roy bought what he thought might be Jefferson's desk, which disappeared during the Civil War. But concluding it was simply a good reproduction, he included it in his auction. On auction day, a woman came in, loved the desk, and promised to pick it up and pay next day.
Before the auction, bidder Tom examined the desk. "Did you get a good price for that desk you have a hold on, Roy?"
"Just what I had in it - at least I will tomorrow."
"I'll give you twice what you paid right now!"
"You're crazy, Tom. That's not an original, just a good copy."
"No, Roy. Only the insides of the drawers have been replaced. The chestnut is 18th century; the craftsmanship is definitely original."
When the woman arrived next morning, Roy explained what he'd learned. "Then you won't sell it?" the woman asked dejectedly. "Yes, I will," Roy replied. "I gave my word."
But after weighing the responsibility of owning a Jefferson desk, she told Roy she'd settle for a good reproduction. Roy sold the desk to a museum. He presented the woman with a beautiful reproduction�plus a check for $100,000. He realized his integrity was worth more than a short-term profit.
Larry Burkett, The Christian Businessman (1-2-99)
Name Shouldn't Be Sold
Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, recently offered WGN Chicago Radio sports-talk host David Kaplan $50,000 to change his name legally to "Dallas Maverick." When Kaplan politely declined, Cuban sweetened the offer. Cuban would pay Kaplan $100,000 and donate $100,000 to Kaplan's favorite charity if he took the name for one year.
After some soul searching, and being bombarded by e-mails from listeners who said he was crazy to turn down the money, Kaplan held firm and told Cuban no. Kaplan explained: "I'd be saying I'd do anything for money, and that bothers me. My name is my birthright. I'd like to preserve my integrity and credibility."
"Christian" is the birthright of every follower of Jesus Christ. We have a responsibility to live every day in a way that brings honor to that name.
Skip Bayless, "Radio Host Prefers Class over Crass," Chicago Tribune (1-10-01)
Donahue Remembers A Minister With Respect
Phil Donahue, the former television talk show host, had something of a reputation for giving clergy a hard time, and he has said the reason he's that way is that he has little respect for them. Most clergy will do anything for some media attention, he says. In his autobiography, however, he tells about an encounter with a minister who was different. It happened while Donahue was a young television reporter in Ohio, and one day he was sent to West Virginia in the bitter cold winter to cover a mine disaster. He went by himself in a battered little car, carrying a minicam to film the story.
It was so cold when he got there, however, the camera wouldn't work. So he put it inside his coat to warm it up enough to run. In the meantime, the families of the trapped miners were gathered around. They were just simple mining people--women, old men, and children. Several of the trapped men were fathers.
Then the local minister arrived. He was rough-hewn, and he didn't speak well at all. But he gathered all the families around in a circle, and they held one another in their arms while he prayed for them.
As this was going on, Donahue was still trying to get his camera to work, and he was incredibly frustrated because he couldn't film the poignant scene. Finally, after the prayer was over, Donahue managed to get his camera operating. So he told the minister he had his camera working now and asked if the minister would please do the prayer again so he could film it for the evening news.
This simple West Virginia preacher, however, told Donahue, "Young man, we don't pray for the news. I'm sorry, but we've already prayed, and I will not pose."
To this day, Donahue remembers that minister with respect. You don't forget that kind of character, no matter who you are or what you believe.
The Tale Of The Tardy Oxcart
Charles R. Swindoll, Word, pp. 66-57.
Practice What You Preach
At the 1993 annual meeting of The American Heart Association, 300,000 doctors, nurses, and researchers met in Atlanta to discuss, among other things, the importance a low fat diet plays in keeping our hearts healthy. Yet during meal times, they consumed fat-filled fast foods such as bacon cheeseburgers and fries at about the same rate as people from other conventions. When one cardiologist was asked whether or not his partaking in high fat meals set a bad example, he replied, "Not me, because I took my name tag off."
Michael Jordan A Man Of His Word
In his book Lessons from a Father to His Sons, Senator John Ashcroft writes: Until 1997 Michael Jordan, indisputably the leading player in the NBA for over a decade, was never the highest paid player. When asked why he did not do what so many other players do ... hold out on their contracts until they get more money ... Michael replied, "I have always honored my word. I went for security. I had six-year contracts, and I always honored them. People said I was underpaid, but when I signed on the dotted line, I gave my word."
Three years later, after several highly visible players reneged on their contracts, a reporter asked Michael once again about being underpaid, and he explained that if his kids saw their dad breaking a promise, how could he continue training them to keep their word? By not asking for a contract renegotiation, Michael Jordan spoke volumes to his children. He told them, "You stand by your word, even when that might go against you." His silence became a roar.
Drivers-Ed Teacher Sets Bad Example
On September 19, 1997, a drivers-ed teacher from Durham, North Carolina, gave a lesson he would like to forget. According to the Associated Press, police said the teacher, age thirty-six, had one student driver at the wheel and another in the car when another car cut them off. At that the teacher apparently went into road rage. It is alleged that he ordered the student driver to pursue the other car. When the other car pulled over, the drivers-ed teacher got out of his car and punched the other driver in the face, giving him a bloody nose. The bloodied driver then pulled away. Amazingly, that wasn't enough for the angry teacher. He again ordered the student to pursue the other car. Eventually the police pulled over the drivers-ed car for speeding, and the motorist with the bloody nose circled back to report to the police what had happened.
The drivers-ed teacher was arrested and charged with simple assault, punishable by up to sixty days in jail. He was released on $400 bail. Later he was suspended from his job and then resigned.
When teachers are the problem, we really have a problem.
Anger, Self-Control, Teachers, Temper I Cor. 11: 1; James 3:1
Choice Contemporary Stories & Illustrations For Preachers, Teachers, & Writers Craig Brian Larson, Baker Books, p. 79.
Is He Like Joe?
Joe was a drunk who was miraculously converted at a Bowery mission. Prior to his conversion, he had gained the reputation of being a dirty wino for whom there was no hope, only a miserable existence in the ghetto. But following his conversion to a new life with God, everything changed. Joe became the most caring person that anyone associated with the mission had ever known. Joe spent his days and nights hanging out at the mission, doing whatever needed to be done. There was never anything that he was asked to do that he considered beneath him. Whether it was cleaning up the vomit left by some violently sick alcoholic or scrubbing toilets after careless men left the men's room filthy, Joe did what was asked with a smile on his face and a seeming gratitude for the chance to help. He could be counted on to feed feeble men who wandered off the street and into the mission, and to undress and tuck into bed men who were too out of it to take care of themselves. One evening, when the director of the mission was delivering his evening evangelistic message to the usual crowd of still and sullen men with drooped heads, there was one man who looked up, came down the aisle to the altar, and knelt to pray, crying out for God to help him to change. The repentant drunk kept shouting, "Oh God! Make me like Joe! Make me like Joe! Make me like Joe! Make me like Joe!
The director of the mission leaned over and said to the man, Son, I think it would be better if you prayed, 'Make me like Jesus.
The man looked up at the director with a quizzical expression on his face and asked, "Is he like Joe?"
More Stories For The Heart
Alice Gray, Multnomah, p. 29.