Anything worth doing is worth doing correctly. We as people, and certainly as Christians should have a spirit of excellence. Note that all things should be done to the glory and honor of God. Keeping in mind that we must demand a spirit of excellence in all that we do. When our work or motives are put to the question, then it brings up the issues of integrity. In this short but true story below, you will see just how the lack of excellence brings about unfortunate consequences.
A wealthy man was lying on his bed with his wife, he was not happy. His wife noticed it and asked what the problem was? “I have these three workers, who have served me faithfully for fifteen years, and I don’t know how to appreciate them for their loyalty all through these years” He sighed. His wife thought for a while and asked her husband “what exactly do they do for you?” well, all three are in charge of any construction projects that come our way” the man replied his wife. Not sure of where she was going with her line of question.
“Then let them build their own houses, but don’t tell them the project is theirs until they complete the building projects,” his wife said. The wealthy looked at his wife and smiled “you always come up with amazing ideas with this small head of yours.” With that, he kissed his wife and slept peacefully that night. The next day, the wealthy excitedly asked his secretary to call the three workers for a brief meeting. A few minutes later, the three men walked in with a quizzical look on their faces. The man gave a straight face; he didn’t want the men to suspect anything. “You are the oldest workers this company has, and going by your time spent here in this company, your retirement is around the corner” the wealthy man addressed his employees who looked worried.
“We have three projects for each of you” the man continued. You will each handle a housing project for the company. However, these projects are different from what you are used to. You will pick the location that best suits you, and also you will handle the project without supervision from me. The employees listened with rapt attention. Nevertheless, one thought crossed their minds. They all feel this project is going to be the last project before the company they spent their time and energy for, send them packing.
The wealthy man instructed the secretary to give the three workers the same amount of money to complete the project, with that, he left the men in his office and went on vacation with his lovely wife. The secretary assigned the details and including the money each needs to complete the project, she congratulated them and left the office. “What do you think this man is trying to do to us?” a man called Dave, who was also the youngest, was the first to break the silence. “I don’t know, but I think the project is important to our employer” Frazer the oldest of them answered. “Why did he assigned the jobs to just us, what happened to the others?” Ian asked.
“I don’t know, but as he said, we are the oldest workers here… probably the project is sensitive, and he feels we are the only ones who are experienced enough to successfully pull it off” Frazer replied Don’t you see what is going on here? Dave asked “This is our last project in this company, they are going to relieve us of our duties… they are going to sack us!” He added
We don’t know that for sure… Frazer cautioned calmly. I can’t believe the man is going to let us go just like that after everything we’ve done for this company! Who does he think he is? So, after doing a fine job for him, he is going to claim the credit and kick us out of here? The youngest blurted out angrily, Calm down. You are just paranoid.
You listen here, old man… I am not going to sit here while the selfish man treats us like trash! He wants me to build a house, a house he will get! With that, he left the room angrily
The oldest man shook his head and encouraged the other worker who was downcast to cheer up. “Our employer is not wicked, and you know that. We’ve been working with him for more than a decade now, and you know him too well to let us go just like that” the man encouraged his fellow employee.
“I guess so; we will know our fate after the end of the project” the second man sighed and left the room. The youngest of them all was filled with rage, he wanted to get back at his Boss, but he didn’t know what to do. He asked his wife for help. “So you mean you Boss he let you all go just like that?” his wife said angrily after listening to what her husband told her.
“We are not certain, but I think that’s what’s going to happen to all three of us” he sighed. “Well… you can use this opportunity to get some bucks for yourself” his wife replied thoughtfully What do you mean?
“You can squeeze all you can from this project, just like you’ve been doing before… since this project may be your last project in the company” she explained. “Hmmm, it is not that easy, I was able to get away with it because I was not working alone. This time around, there will be no one to pin it on.” “We will find a way… you can pick substandard products, get a cheaper site to erect the structure. After all, he always takes the credit for what you or the others have been doing for the past fifteen years. Let him take credit for this too” she sneered. Meanwhile, the second man was also discussing with his wife. “I am afraid, the retirement will be coming sooner than we planned honey,” he said gloomily. What do you mean? His wife asked. My employer gave each of us a housing project to construct today… That’s great news! His wife exclaimed.
“I’m not so sure if it’s a good thing… we think, it is going to be the last project and the company is letting us go… probably to employ younger staff to replace us” he sulked. “Oh you don’t know that for sure, probably your boss trusted just the three of you to complete the projects” his wife wrapped her hands around him. “I don’t want to stop working… not now. I haven’t gotten your dream house” the man added. “You are a brilliant man, and other companies will fight just to get you on their team” she encouraged him “Thanks, honey… you are the best” he kissed her on her forehead. “I know” his wife giggled. Speaking of the best, why don’t you build the best house you can, since it may be your last project… you never can tell. Your employer may change his mind after seeing your project” his wife advised.
The man agreed and set out to work the next day. All three men did the best they could to finish the project before the arrival of their employer. Finally, the wealthy man came, and the three men were done with the housing projects. Mr. Ian’s project was the first to be inspected. It was an exquisite building to behold; the wealthy man was impressed with what he has done with the money and supplies he got from the company. Then he moved to Mr. Frazer’s construction site, just like Mr. Ian’s house, it was beautiful with a touch of vintage. Once again, the wealthy employer was happy with the work done. It was Dave’s turn to show what he has done.
He drove the employer to the construction site; the employer was shocked and disappointed for he always thought Dave was the brain behind most of the company’s sophisticated projects. The paint was already rubbing off, and the employer could see that the house was a deathtrap and not up to standard. He didn’t say a word, he left. Two days later, the wealthy man summoned the three employees to his office. He brought out the documents and placed them on the table before addressing them. “First, I would like to congratulate you on the successful completion of the projects” he started. He praised them for the effort they have put in the company, just then he handed back the documents back to them.
He explained how the company needs dedicated staff, to continue to be the top leading company in the country. When I gave the projects to you, I didn’t tell you the names of the clients of the project because I did not want it to influence the outcome of the job. The three men stared at each other, while the man continued.
To appreciate the efforts you’ve put in this company, the company decided to give you the opportunity to build your house, which was the recent project you completed.” The wealthy man paused for the news to sink in. He turned to Ian, “congratulations you have done marvelously well. Furthermore, the company will be opening a new branch, and we would like you to handle it until you retire if that’s okay with you”.
Ian couldn’t believe what he was hearing, and he didn’t know if to scream or cry for joy. He took the documents, the keys to the house and thanked the wealthy man. Dave stood still with his mouth opened wide. He wanted to say something, but the wealthy man signaled him to stop. The wealthy man also gave the keys and proof of ownership to Frazer, with the option of handling the west division of the company. Frazer was happy, he accepted the house, but turned down the job offer. He wanted to spend the rest of his life with his children and grandchildren. The wealthy man offered to pay him continuously for three years and also kept a position for him in case any of his children want to work in the company. The old man thanked his employer for his kindness and generosity.
Dave’s legs were wobbling; he knew he was in trouble. “Dave, you’ve shown us that you are incompetent and not fit to work here anymore,” he said to Dave as he gave the house keys to him.
“The house you built is yours, but you are not fit to work here anymore.” As soon as the wealthy man handed the keys and the documents of the house to Dave, security men escorted him out of the building. Dave bowed his head in shame; he knew the house he built was inhabitable because of the inferior materials he used. With deep regret in his heart, he realized that anything worth doing is worth doing well, this person didn’t have a spirit of excellence.
Encourage Yourself: When we do a task correctly the first time, it is always beneficial. We don’t have to waste time doing it over, our boss, our loved ones will not have to be disappointed, and most of all God is pleased. A spirit of excellence is key to our lives as a christian. With this topic it brings us to the issues of integrity, decency and many other subjects. Are you a person of excellence?