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Word to an auto mechanic


Written by ANDRÉE SEU

February 9, 2012, 10:06 AM

My friend Charlotte’s son went to an auto mechanic to talk about a car problem. The man boasted about his work and abilities in such a way (I wasn’t there, so do not know his tone) that prompted Jonathan to say to him, I should like to think with a smile:

“Let another praise you, and not your own mouth …” (Proverbs 27:2).

I was interested to hear of his use of this verse. I had always taken that particular Proverb only as an exhortation to guard against boasting—and of course, it is that too. The Spirit here dispenses a helpful principle of conduct, that it is better to let another commend you for a good work or quality in you than for you to pat yourself on the back. For one thing, boasting is a turn-off; you will not achieve your desired end of being well thought of by your hearer, but rather will achieve the opposite of what you seek.

Furthermore, you don’t even need to boast of yourself, for someone else will always do it for you sooner or later, as Scripture suggests:

“… good works are conspicuous. And even those that are not cannot remain hidden” (1 Timothy 5:25).

But I learned a new use of the Proverb upon hearing Charlotte’s anecdote. Her son Jonathan’s take on the verse was this: Mr. Mechanic, if you are as good as you say you are, other people in town will tell me so. So I think I will check out a few other sources and get back to you later.

I do not know the end of this little story and whether Jonathan ever went back. But I like the way he dropped that tiny seed at the service station. It reminds me that the Word of God is always relevant, and is wisdom in work clothes, not just something for a “religious” dimension.

And because I happen to believe that the Word of God—any Word of God—is bristling with supernatural power, beyond our puny intellectual understanding, I believe that whenever we disseminate a portion of it we are planting seeds, like Christ’s Johnny Appleseed, seeds that may take root and spring up in surprising ways. God’s Word never returns empty.

7 Comments to “Word to an auto mechanic”

  1. 1.
    BY SAWGUNNER 02.09.12 AT 12:00 PM I took a car to a mechanic in Houston. Long story short the gas guage was inaccurate I think it showed a quarter of a tank when we were actually on fumes. Once they added the gas to the old 95 Honda civic it started with no problem. The lady who owned the garage said she would accept no more than $10 so long as we went to a site called repairpal dot com
    Which I did and wrote a great panegyric to the company.
    Along with repairpal there is a site called Emily’s List where customers can rate the quality of a variety of services: roofers, landscape contractors, concrete pour-ers, etc. The lady assured me that there was no way for her or anyone else in her shop to go to repair pal and praise themselves.
    I now think the site has been modified a great deal. There is also a site called Reputation dot com. It lets you know if anyone is saying bad stuff about your business.