As an automotive and small truck mechanic for many years I prided myself in returning vehicles to their owner in like manner I received it or even better. Of course it was repaired, which made it better, what I meant is, if I saw something in need of repair and determined it would only take a minute or two at no cost to me or the customer, I did it, most of the time without mention. I always made sure and instructed any employees to clean up thoroughly at the completion of any job and always double check for lingering tools and parts left in and around vehicles. Very rarely, but inevitability, a small tool would come up missing, seemingly with the ability to vanish into thin air never to be seen again. Then there were a few times when on a test drive a faint clink-catty-clank sound would start from under the hood and travel along the floorboard to the rear bumper as a wrench would bouncing between the highway pavement and the bottom of the vehicle. If it was big enough and rested on the highway I found the elusive wrench but if it landed in the grass and weeds along side, someone else found it. I have also found wrenches that didn’t belong to me and sometimes found the owner to be fellow mechanics. Some people might not understand but our wrenches are like children and we hate to lose them.
[Psalm 26:2-3; Galatians 6:1-10] A surgeon was very selective with the people he wanted to work with. It was the first day on the job for a young nurse and the surgeon decided to issue a test. As the young nurse assisted the surgeon during a procedure, she noticed a problem. “You’ve only removed eleven sponges, doctor,” she said to the surgeon. “We used twelve.” “I removed them all,” the doctor declared. “We‘ll close the incision now.” “No,” the nurse objected. “We used twelve sponges.” “I’ll take full responsibility,” the surgeon said grimly, “Suture!” “You can’t do that!” blazed the nurse. “Think of the patient.” The surgeon smiled, lifted his foot, and showed the nurse the twelfth sponge, and said, “You’ll do.” It can be difficult to stand up for what is right, especially when we meet resistance. As for the young nurse, she was willing to risk disapproval and possibly even her job to stand up for what was right. Thankfully, she was working for a person who also valued integrity. It takes courage to expose ourselves and come under the heat of the spot light. In John 12:42-43, we see some people who weren’t willing to stand out, “Yet at the same time many even among the rulers believed in Him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God” Which do we love more, God’s approval or man’s? It feels really good when people like us, praise us, and agree with us. Many people are even willing to sacrifice their morals and ethics in order to lay low and run with the crowd. It can be scary to be disliked, made fun of, and disagreed with. It can be hard to stand up for honesty and integrity as Christians, especially when those around us do not. Moses told all
and Joshua before his death, “...Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or
terrified because of them, for the Lord your God with you; he will never leave
you nor forsake you ...Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Deuteronomy
31:1-8). People may dislike or disagree with us, but only one approval really
matters anyway; God’s. When we stand with God - God will stand with us.
Therefore, let’s be courageous Christians and pursue God’s approval above all
others. God hates to lose one of his children on the highway of life (2 Peter
3:1-18). Amen. Israel