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The Inspiring Story of Life By a Higher Standard

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Hi friends! Are you inspired when you see someone living a life of integrity? 

Just reflecting today on a well-lived life. In our culture it seems there’s a growing stream of people who have no regard for standards of living. “Anything goes” seems to be the mantra. In some cases, living by standards has resulted in condemnation.

That’s curious to me. Maybe it’s because it’s a lot easier (and a lot less convicting) to live with no standards when everyone else has abdicated their standards as well. 

Today, I want to lift a story high . . . a story about one of our friends who has chosen to live differently.

honor, integrity, character, christian life

Gary has pointed himself down a more noble path . . . a path that’s frequented by fewer and fewer travelers today. He wouldn’t like me saying that because he’s a humble man who doesn’t like attention.

Gary has always loved working with wood and creating things with his hands. He’s also a servant. Back when our church established a food pantry, he built and installed all the shelving . . . among other things.

For years Gary dreamed of opening his own cabinet shop. When his wife started a new job with a better salary, it allowed him the opportunity to follow his dream.

With three kids in high school, it was tough. If you’ve survived the whirlpool of expenses during those teen years (proms, graduations, class rings, college preparation, and cars), you know how tight finances can be!

In the beginning, Gary wasn’t able to pay himself a regular salary; however, his employees always received their salary. When personal funds ran short, Gary paid himself $100 here and $200 there.

Gary purchased insurance for his company, but couldn’t afford full coverage. When his shop was robbed requiring him to replace a number of machines, computers, and other equipment, he purchased those things largely with funds from his own pocket.

Gary developed a good reputation as a quality craftsman. His clientele were mainly individuals and a few builders. His work was mostly word-of-mouth.

When the economy began it’s downhill slide, builders started losing their businesses and competition increased. Larger cabinet shops were hungry for business in the dwindling market. Gary couldn’t compete. By the end of 2008, he shut his dream down.

After five years, our friend had accumulated quite a bit of debt so he and his wife sat down to determine the damage. They wrote down every outstanding bill, every person they owed money to, and how much. The grand total was around $70,000. Many people today would have walked away from that debt blaming the robbery or the economy, or by declaring bankruptcy.

Even though their financial situation was in the gutter, Gary told his wife, “I am going to pay back every cent I owe to every one of these people.” I absolutely love that!

The Bible has more to say about money than just about anything else. That’s probably because it’s one of our biggest vices. It’s where the door often closes on our godly principles.

What the Bible says about honoring debts:

  • The wicked borrow and do not pay back, but the righteous give generously . . . Psalm 37:21
  • It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Ecclesiastes 5:5
  • Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8
  • Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. Romans 13:7
  • If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth. Numbers 30:2
  • A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. Proverbs 22:1

Gary and his wife, Susan, participated in Dave Ramsey classes. Through sheer determination and simply doing without a lot of things, they honored every one of those outstanding business debts. They are now debt free except for their house payment. Their goal now is to pay off their home.

It wasn’t easy. It took years to accomplish. 

Honoring debts. Such a noble way to live and such an incredible benefit to those who are owed money! I love how Gary has chosen to live his life.

Do you have a story to share of someone who is committed to honorable living? Submit your story to me at thewarminghouse@gmail.com for consideration for publication here.

Together, let’s start shedding light on the good in this world. Maybe it will inspire some people like Gary has inspired me.

Working toward a better world . . .

Lisa~

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Carey says:

    A very inspiring story Lisa… thank you for sharing it!

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