A customer who ate at Randy’s Southside Diner in Grand Junction unluckily left $3,000 in a bank envelope at his booth. Fortunately, his busboy was Johnny Duckworth. Johnny gave it to his boss, who through the ATM bank slip in the envelope was able to track down the rightful owner. That unnamed person gave Johnny a $300 tip, but strangers started a “gofundme” page for the struggling Duckworth and have raised nearly $4000 for the young man. In an interview, he said he did not for a moment consider keeping the money, adding, “I work for a living” (denverpost.com).
You’ve not likely had honesty pay so well for you. At least not financially. But, as the proverbial adage goes, “honesty does pay.” How?
- In reputation. Honestly builds businesses, friendships, leadership, and the like, when people have implicit confidence in your word (cf. Proverbs 14:25).
- In relationships. People trust you and are closer to you when you are honest with them. The opposite is true, too, that people keep their emotional distance from you if you are dishonest (Ephesians 4:25).
- In righteousness. Your character is built through dedication to unconditional truthfulness (Proverbs 12:17).
- In reliability. Who will people come to, lean on, and go to? The honest. They know where they stand with such a one (Proverbs 12:19).
- In respect. While you may fear hurting feelings and alienating others through courageous honesty, you gain the admiration of most through transparency and scrupulous speech and behavior (1 Kings 22:13-14).
Sadly, doing the right thing was once routine but now it merits newsworthiness. May the tribe of Johnny Duckworths increase. When we as Christians are renowned for our kind honesty, we will draw a world in search of goodness and trustworthiness to the One who “cannot lie” (Titus 1:2).