Foreign Values

I set off walking to a neighbouring village last weekend that I might settle a debt to a tradesman who had done some extra work for me. I posted it through his letterbox, but he came running out after me.

“You’ve already paid”, said he. “You’ve made a mistake”.

I was tempted to reply: “Oh yes, silly me, you’re quite right. What a scatter-brain I am. Terribly sorry to have troubled you”. I’d have been fifty quid better off. He had forgotten the extra job he had done, recalling only the main job for which he had already been remunerated. It would have been very tempting, but assuring him that I truly owed it was my duty as both a Christian and an expression of basic honesty.

* * *

I visited a church recently, and as preachers are wont to do, I chatted with various members of the congregation over the mandatory cup of tea and biscuit. One explained that he only does foreign jobs now.

“Oh,” I naively enquired. “Which countries?”

He laughed. Foreign jobs, he explained, were cash-in-hand. He winked. 


The integrity of the upright will guide them,

But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay