Let Your “Yes” Be Yes, And Your “No” Be No*
(By Leslie Day)
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.
So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?”(Luke 16:10-11)
This was a daily reading on my iPad and the experience I am sharing with you came to mind.
My working life started by taking an apprenticeship and HND in mechanical engineering. After completing my National Service, I returned to CAV Ltd Acton London and was selected to specialize in the manufacturing of a diesel fuel filter. To do this development, I was attached to the material testing laboratory. After several years, I was asked if I would move to the Sudbury, Suffolk branch to set up and run a materials testing laboratory.
At this time, I was married to Elsa, our first daughter was about 10 weeks old and the house move contract was signed ready for the move in 9 days’ time.
The working day began as usual until the laboratory secretary told me the Engineering Director has sent for me and I was to go to his office on the fifth floor straight away. His office was very big and after sitting down at his desk and after the normal good morning he asked me one question. “Mr Day, what is Martensite?”
My reply was “I don’t know but it is something to do with the structure of iron.”
“You can go now,” he said, and I made my way back to the door. He let me put my hand on the door handle then said, “You may be wondering why I asked that question.”
He told me he wanted to find out if I did not know the answer to something whether I said I don’t know or tried to bluff. He said, “You are not qualified in some areas and you will need to seek help from the London office. If you had tried to answer my question you would not have had the new posting because no one knows the answer.”
As I reflect on this experience after 55 years, I realise I am comfortable within myself in saying I don’t know, and it took away the temptation of having to give an answer to make myself feel adequate. In particular asking for help with my dyslectic and reading and writing difficulties. In fact, being open has resulted in many people going out of their way to give me so much help during my working life.
I believe this is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit and brings me back to my Bible reading.
* c.f. Matthew 5:37