The other day, I was finishing a very pleasant visit with a couple who had worshipped with us the previous Sunday. They walked me out the door, pulled the door shut, and then realized the door was locked.
Yes, the door was locked and the folks did not have a key in their pocket nor hidden outside. So what to do? It was hot and humid and we were already starting to sweat.
I called the office and one of our ministry assistants picked up a phone book, looked in the yellow pages and gave me a number for a locksmith listing in Fayette County.
I dialed the number and the woman answered, “Locksmith.”
I asked, “Are you located in Fayetteville and do you have someone close by who can come right away? We just locked ourselves out of the house and it’s hot and we need to get these folks back inside as soon as possible.”
“Yes,” she answered as she took the address. “We have someone not far from you at all. They’ll be there in 15 minutes.”
This was roughly 2:53 p.m. At around 3:20, Dominique called to say that he was on another job, would be finished in five minutes and then would be on his way. He would be there in 15-20 minutes.
Then I asked his location, and he said he was “on 285.” Suddenly, things weren’t sounding right. I asked if there was someone else who was closer, and he said he was the closest person.
In hindsight, we should have dropped these people right then. A storm started blowing up suddenly, and lightning and thunder started. Then the rains came and the three of us went next door and stood under the carport until the storm passed.
About the time I was calling the office for another lead, Dominique called and said he was ten minutes away. He pulled into the driveway 15 minutes later, at approximately 4:15 p.m.
I was expecting a van, or a pick-up truck with the company name on the side, but he pulled up in his personal vehicle. He inserted a pump-wedge between the door and door frame and started filling it with air. Then he used a chisel to attempt to force the door open, but with no luck.
He was beginning to damage the door frame when the homeowner stopped him and said, “I have never seen a locksmith who didn’t use a pick to pick the lock.” He responded that this is how he was trained.
The homeowner then decided to force open the door of his garage, found a tool and started picking the lock himself.
As Dominique got back into his car, he said, “I drove a long way and really fast to make it down here.” He admitted he was north of Decatur when he called.
I said, “Well, the lady on the phone promised us that she had someone in the area who could be here in 15 minutes. You told us that you could be here in 15 minutes. Both of you were dishonest and misled us. These folks have been standing outside for over an hour, through a thunder storm, believing that you were 15 minutes away. Your office said you were 15 minutes away at 2:53!
“Next time, just tell the truth. And don’t you dare send these people a bill!”
Then I called the “Locksmith” lady and told her the same thing.
“You were dishonest with us. I promise you I won’t be recommending your company. And don’t even think about sending these people a bill.”
She sheepishly apologized as we ended the call.
What is it about people that makes them flat-out lie? And what about false advertising? Their full page ad in the Yellow Book promises “Fast 15 Minute Response.”
The Bible strongly condemns lying. Proverbs 12:22 says, “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but they that deal truly are His delight.” Proverbs 6:16 lists seven things the Lord hates. The list includes a lying tongue. As the old saying goes, honesty is always the best policy. Just tell the truth.
Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, Ga. The church gathers at 352 McDonough Road and invites you to join them this Sunday for Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. Visit them on the web at www.mcdonoughroad.org.