Honesty’s Gain

1st July 2011


The honest have everything to gain, and very little to lose – honesty about their own mistakes takes them to a higher level of blessing in life!

A poor but honest man I heard about worked at a restaurant, but earned so little that he could not feed his family. Night after night at closing time he would walk past some meat placed by the exit door as if to tempt him to steal. The temptation was almost unbearable for him because he knew that there was not enough food at home to feed his children.

The problem of underpaid restaurant workers is not new. I have also seen this first hand, through one of my own children, who has had to wait sometimes for two hours at a popular restaurant to be invited to serve, but is sent home without pay because the restaurant is not busy enough. Many of the popular restaurants have figured out that if they prevent their workers from signing in then they can avoid paying them while they wait. Moreover, paying customers, at the slightest whim withhold their tip. They care little for the real fact that many of the servers are single mothers who are trying to make a living. I frankly do not know how those on the lower levels of pay who have families are able to cope?

To come back to the honest poor man, there came a day when he could not prevent himself from taking the meat, but this so affected him that he could not sleep the entire night. Overwrought with guilt and shame he arrived early the next morning to confess what he had done to the owner. He told him the truth with tears in his eyes. The amazed owner said to him, “But I was the one who put the meat there every night for you. I thought that you knew, and I am sorry that no one told me that you never took it. THAT MEAT WAS YOURS TO TAKE!”

There are millions of people who would testify that what the Lord did for them is infinitely more than this. He has already provided for each of us all we need. He has prepared a feast for us, even if we do not yet realize it, or deserve it, or have earned it. Can you believe this kind of grace and generosity? Have you met grace and love that is higher than this?

As an ex-employer, I can tell you, that if I had an honest poor man such as the one in the restaurant, I would increase his pay, and not only so, but I would promote him! Solomon says, that kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value a man who speaks the truth (Proverbs 16:13). And again, “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips” (Proverbs 24:26)