Is your signature more valuable than your word? Truthfulness vs. Deception
In 1970 in preparation to build a speculation house I went to the Lumber yard, talked with the owner Nick, and asked what I had to do to obtain credit. Nick said: “raise your right hand, do you promise to pay?” I said yes and then asked if there was something I had to sign.
That prompted Nick to respond with an answer that everyone should hear. It is from an era gone by in a time when a person’s word was his honor. He asked: “Is your signature more valuable than your word?”
That response grabbed my attention and I have never forgotten it. Later Nick’s response emboldened me to call Shorty Ralston the concrete supplier. When I asked him he said: “PAY YOUR BILLS.” He sounded like a grizzly bear.
A year later Shorty stopped by to see me. He asked how it was going. I responded great. I don’t know where all of the business is coming from because I have no signs, no ad, no marketing of any kind. Then he told me that I was one of five contractors on the Florida Keys that discounted bills. So my suppliers were sending me all the work.
I was shocked because I was living on the 2% discount they gave by paying before the 10th of the month. He asked who I thought he would recommend when someone comes to ask; one of those I have to chase for my money or one who pays on time.
A few years later Nick sold out to a large chain lumber year. After several months under the new ownership the manager caught me one day to suggest that I fill out a credit application. He said there is no problem with you being accepted we just need it on file.
In today’s world system they want the signature for a lawsuit basis. When character reined a man’s word was his bond. True character is getting harder to find.
Jesus said we are accountable for “every idle word.” Matthew 12:36
This was a very motivating experience. Today because of the lack of honesty in America we have become a litigious society.
What does it take to equip children to accountability? How do you motivate people to truthfulness?
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