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The little integrity tests

This morning a man came to the door looking for my son. A few weeks ago the lady down the street had contacted him to help the man move a chicken coop. My son went off with a small crew and they got the job done, and that was the end of it, I thought.

But now the man was on my doorstep wanting to offer my son a job. He said he was impressed with how hard my son worked, and how well they had “communicated”: When he told my son what he wanted done, my son did it exactly as he wanted it. “It’s as if he could read my mind,” said the man, who told me that he owns a landscaping business and could give my son as much work as he wants—and pay him better than the landscaper he’s with now.

Wow. It just so happens that my son recently started looking for part-time work because the landscaper he’s with now doesn’t call him in as often as he would like. His boss takes Mondays off to take care of his newborn and give his wife the day off. And he doesn’t call when the weather looks inclement. So my son would like to fill in those gaps with other employment. The offer of a full-time job rather than about four days a week is very appealing.

The problem is that when my son got back from serving in the Foreign Legion, where he had thought his future would be, his boss gave him his old job back. The condition was that my son would commit himself for one year, and he was grateful and happy to make that commitment.

What would you do? Jump ship? You could justify it in several ways. You could explain to the boss that you fully intended to keep your promise, but finances have become too tight. You could explain to the boss that when you committed you assumed the work would be steadier. You could say that you really have to grab this better offer but would be available to come in on odd days when you’re not working with your new boss. You could say that though you must excuse yourself from your commitment, you will stay with him until he finds a replacement and that you would even help him find a replacement.

But the Word of God says:

“Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil” (Matthew 5:37).

“Oh Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does what is right … who swears to his own hurt and does not change” (Psalm 15:1-4).

I knew a man whose brother died and he told his dying brother he would be involved with his children’s lives. But later, a great financial opportunity arose and he approached his brother’s widow and discussed the matter with her, and she gave him leave to move to another state to seek his fortune. I notice that the man’s financial dream never amounted to much, and he didn’t see his brother’s sons grow up. Our lives are full of testimonies to the Word of God.

Andrée Seu Peterson’s Won’t Let You Go Unless You Bless Me, regularly $12.95, is now available from WORLD for only $5.95.

Andrée Seu Peterson

Andrée is a senior writer for WORLD Magazine. Her commentary has been compiled into three books including Won't Let You Go Unless You Bless Me. Andrée resides in Philadelphia, Penn.


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While I can understand the desire to talk the situation over with both employers (and confess my own inclinations that way) what comes to mind is the passage to not let your right hand know what your left hand is doing. God bless him.


Yes, Andree, we must walk by faith, keep our promise, and trust God with the outcome. As disciples of the Lord Jesus, our eyes are on him and not on another apparent prize. May your son be true to his word, as our God is always true to his.

William H

That's a tough one. It appears that your son is stuck with his first employer due to the agreement he made even tho he's been offered a better a job. Hopefully the year will pass quickly.