17 September 2015 –
There is an old saying that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing right. With that said, so often now days it would seem that cutting corners to save time and money are often seen as more important than the quality of the product or service. Even more disturbing is the expectation of cutting corners for others yet these same people expect perfection in return. If only people realized that this has implications.
There was once a wealthy man who had in his employment for many years a person that could build houses. One day the wealthy man gave this employee a check for $500,000 and told him to “build a very nice house”. The wealthy man stated, “This house is for someone special. As you know I am very busy and often away on business, so I am turning this project over to you. Once you are finished I will pay you in full for your time and efforts.” The builder was very excited and started the project immediately. But, after a while he started thinking to himself, “If I cut a few corners on this project, then just maybe I could save some time and also pocket some of that $500,000.” So he went out and bought the cheapest building materials that he could find.
He set out to building and rushed where he could and continued to secure the least expensive building materials he could along the way. When all was said and done he had cut weeks off of the build time and had close to $50,000 saved that the employee happily pocketed. The builder then called his wealthy employer to inspect the finished house. The wealthy employer was impressed. To the untrained eye, the home appeared to be beautiful and well built. The wealthy employer never guessed the builder had cut corners impacted the integrity of this outwardly beautiful house. The builder was ecstatic as he could see just how pleased the owner was with his work. The employee was eager to see how much he was going to be paid. As the wealthy man finished his walk-through of the new home and prepared to leave, he turned and said to the builder, “You have worked faithfully for me many years, as a sign of my gratitude, this house you built is yours.” Then he handed the builder, his long term faithful employee the keys to the house…
How do you think the employee felt at that moment in time? So many times in life we do what we can to cut corners, in particular when it comes to doing something for other people. Although we are to be prudent in how we spend our time and money, Scripture makes clear in Colossians 3:23 – 24 that for all things we do, we are to do them as unto the Lord and not for our human masters. I realize that not everything we do every day can get 100% of our time and effort. But with that said Paul tells us in verse 24 in that same passage that the Lord will give us an inheritance as our reward.
In this well know sermon illustration we find an employee that chooses to fall short in order to save time and money and in the end, this comes back to him in that he has inherited a subpar house of his own building. We should be careful not to underperform simply because we feel that if we do that we ourselves are not negatively impacted or that no one will notice. When no one else may notice, Scripture tells us that God does. Jesus emphasized in Matthew 7:12 what is commonly called the “Golden Rule”, which states, “do unto others whatever you would like them to do to you.” Would we want our mechanic or doctor to take a shortcut? How about the day care provider or teacher in charge of little children?
Keeping this purely focused on God, Jeremiah 17:10 is clear that God searches the heart and examines the mind and rewards each based on their conduct according to the deeds they deserve. Be there no doubt, what we do and how we go about doing it has impact in this this life, not only for us but for others as well. In closing, always remember the Golden Rule, and as cliché as it may sound, God is watching…