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Ministerial Ethics

Ministerial Ethics

Ministerial Integrity
In business, clever negotiations are often referred to as ‘horse trading’. Oh, to God that this kind of integrity might again come to the business world, especially to ministerial leadership.
Horse Purchase
In the early days of the town of Starkville, Mississippi, a blacksmith (John McGaughey established a shop in the embryo of the city, and, in connection with his smithing, also traded in horses, keeping a few on hand all the time. Mr. Bardwell knowing this, and wishing to purchase a horse, called at Mr. McGaughey’s shop one morning and asked him if he had a horse for sale that would be suitable for a farm. Mac. Replying in the affirmative, they went to the stable, were Mr. Bardwell, after examining the animal, asked the price. To this Mr. McGaughey replied: “Eighty-five dollars.” “I regard that as too high a price,” said Mr. Bardwell. Mr. McGaughey, well knowing the aged missionary and having unlimited confidence in his integrity, asked him what he believed the horse to be worth. To which Mr. Bardwell replied: “Sixty-five dollars” “You can have him at that price,” responded Mr. McGaughey. Mr. Bardwell paid the money and took the horse. The trade was made in the spring of the year. Early in the following autumn, Mr. Bardwell called at the shop and, after the usual salutation, handed Mr. McGaughey twenty dollars, saying: “Here is that money that I owe you.” Mr. McGaughey, in much astonishment, replied: “You are certainly mistaken. You do not owe me a dollar, you have always paid me the cash for all the work I have done for you in my shop.” “True!” said Mr. Bardwell. “But this is not for work done in the shop, but is due you in a trade we made last spring.” “What trade?” asked Mr. McGaughey in unfeigned surprise. “Why! In the purchase of a horse from you,” replied Mr. Bardwell. “{But you paid me the sixty-five dollars cash, the price for which I told you, you could have him.” “True,” replied Mr. Bardwell, “But you judged the horse to be worth eighty-five dollars, while I estimated his worth at only sixty-five; upon trial I have found him to b e well worth the eighty-five dollars, the price you first asked for him. Here is your money.” “But, Mr. Bardwell, I cannot accept the money. It was a fair trade.” “Not so,” replied the aged missionary, “You were right, Mr. McGaughey, in your judgment as to the correct value of the horse, and I was wrong. I insist upon your accepting that which is your just due.” Mr. McGaughey finally accepted the twenty dollars but only through his great respect for Mr. Bardwell, whose feelings he knew would be wounded if he did not accept the proffered twenty dollars.
Let’s pray:
‘Father, purify us from ‘situational ethics’. May our word always be our bond, and may we conduct ourselves in business, as in the pulpit: holy in heart and in conduct, free from appearance of evil, more concerned with the testimony of Jesus in us, than even our own reputations. Amen’

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