Steve Marr writes the following about integrity when no one is looking:
Some businesspeople practice integrity when compelled or when customers are watching. Others practice integrity when they believe no one is watching.
I had a neighbor who would walk his dog. He carried a small plastic bag to scoop up the droppings, as required by the homeowner's association. One day I was reading and glanced out the window to see the dog leaving a deposit. My neighbor looked around to see if anyone was watching, then left the poop there and walked away. At that moment, I came to understand that my neighbor lacked integrity.
In business, we can also lose our integrity, and often with drastic results.
John Dodge, a founder of Dodge Motor Company, put it clearly, "There is no twilight zone in business, a thing is right or it's wrong — it's black or it's white." The choice we have is to accept and act on this truth ... or not. King Solomon wrote, "He who walks in integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will be found out" (Proverbs 10:9 NASB).
We may not always see the result of our integrity, but consequences will follow. An auto dealer was doing warranty repairs and was receiving replacement parts from the manufacturer. In some instances, the broken part was repaired instead of replaced and the new part was then sold to other customers, thus generating more profit for the auto dealership. This practice went on for years, but was eventually uncovered. The result: the owner was convicted of fraud, the manufacturer revoked the franchise, and the owner was forced into bankruptcy.
The prophet Nahum wrote, "The Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished" (Nahum 1:3 NASN). If we accept this truth from Scripture, then we must obediently apply integrity in everything we do.
Walter was a contractor doing a small addition for a young couple, Ellen and Mike. He realized he made a mistake on the bid and left out a $2,500 item, costing him the profit on the job. Walter honored his price and explained to the couple he had made a mistake, but that he did not expect them to pay for it. He was not aware that Mike's dad was a major real-estate developer. After Mike's dad learned of the experience, he contacted the builder and gave him several large construction jobs, based on the integrity experienced by his son. This verifies the truth, "He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful in much, and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing in unrighteous also in much" (Luke 16:10 NASB).
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