The challenge of walking with the God who knows me
Names changed throughout except in some cases where the person involved has been or is in ministry.
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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
1 Samuel 2:30
“Those who honour me I will honour, but those who despise me I will disdain.”
The customer buying the transatlantic telephone cable that we were making decided that a third fibre optic link would be a good idea. This was not to be used for traffic but rather for redundancy. We were very happy, that would be a big increase in the amount of work. I was working on the shore end part called the terminal equipment and we were expecting a terminal to be attached to this cable, but the customer decided they did not want one. I was given the job of explaining to the customer why one was needed.
At first there was no problem. I gave the reasons, and people went away to think. Then, a written document was called for. As I wrote this up it became apparent to me that there was a fault in my logic. I was concerned about this. If I now went ahead with the way I was writing, I would really be lying. On the other hand, the task I had been given was not ‘explain the situation’, but ‘explain why it is needed.’ I pondered for some time what to do, before deciding that Jesus was more important than pleasing my boss, and doing well in the company. His word says ‘You shall not lie.’ (Leviticus 19:11) I remembered the verse above. I could trust Jesus that in some way he would honour, I knew that he was well able to turn things around for bad if I did not honour him. So I must not lie.
I concluded that the best person to talk to was the project manager, so I went to him and explained the situation. He was very disappointed by what I had to say but to his credit he turned round and said that it was more important to say the truth. In my naivety I had not calculated the lost income, but it would have bought a nice home. I went back and wrote a paper that was as persuasive as I could, but truthful. The customer decided not to buy the equipment.
Yet God has his ways of honouring our decisions in ways that we could never imagine. Some time later the customer decided to change his mind yet again. It seemed that there would be advantages to having traffic on this extra optical link after all. To that end, it would be necessary to have two terminals working together (for redundancy) to feed this optical link. So, the project manager was honoured for his integrity.
I was also honoured in quite a different way from what I would have expected. Instead of being condemned for having stood in the way of the companies profit line. I would receive telephone calls from the project manager when he wanted to verify that on some technical issue he was being told the truth.
It took a step of faith to believe that Jesus was bigger than that lie. I always struggle with confrontation and how people think of me. In a way, this situation was hitting at my weak point but Jesus proved himself faithful.