Rom. 13:7 - Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor. NASU
I first wrote this Pump Up in 2013. For some reason it has been on my heart to share this story about Rufus Griffith again.
In 1984, I was a Minister for a church in Glen Burnie, MD. One of my goals was to purchase property so that the Lord's Church would be able to expand and reach deeper into helping the local community.
One of our members told me about a farmer by the name of, Rufus Griffith, and that he was interested in selling some of his farmland. I drove to Rufus' farm and met with him and discussed purchasing 24 of his 30 acres.
He said, "The property is yours until you tell me differently." We did have the congregational meeting and the vote was 58 in favor and 2 opposed to purchasing the land.
The attorney immediately told him that he was not selling the property for enough money and that he could get Rufus $15,000/ acre. Rufus told him, "I shook the boy's hand." (He always called me the boy, when referencing me to someone. I have no clue why, but it really didn't matter. We were friends and he could call me whatever he wanted.)
His attorney told him, Rufus a handshake is not a legally binding contract in the state of MD and Rufus stood up and looked him in the eye and said, "It is with me. The boy and I have a deal. Now draw up the necessary papers." Then he walked out of the attorney's office. If you knew Rufus you know I toned down the language of what he really said to his attorney.
You know the attorney was correct when he said, "You are not selling the property for enough money." There is no doubt in my mind he could have sold it for $15K/ acre and that would have made him another $120,000 but he didn't.
But you see Rufus was a man of his word and in his day as he grew up a handshake was better than a signed piece of paper. His word was his bond.
A few years later when I did Rufus' funeral I told this story about him. You see God says, "To give honor to whom honor is due." He also says in Prov. 27:2 - Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips. NASU
Who do you know today that you should give honor to whom honor is due or one that you should praise?
Well, then what are you waiting for? Go and give the honor or praise to the one who deserves it.
Common honesty should be more common.
Our Country was in better condition when there were more whittlers and fewer chiselers.
Gary A. Serago
Minister of God's Word
Gary A Serago.