"Who'da Thunk It!?!"

by Gene Taylor

Those who know me, know that I am a fan of the Chicago Cubs. Having lived in the Chicago area a number of years ago, I became hooked on the Cubs after going to Wrigley Field and experiencing first-hand the somewhat mystical attraction of a perennial losing team.

Adding to the appeal of the Cubbies the last few years is their announcer, Harry Caray. To say that he is colorful is to be guilty of great understatement. He is so bad, he's great. To hear him mispronounce the players' names, forget what inning it is, and even forget what city he is in, is comical. Even more entertaining, though, are some of the expressions he uses. The title of this article is one of them. It is his colorful way of saying that something just occurred that he never thought he would have experienced. I had my own "Who'da thunk it?" the other day.

A very good friend of mine has a son who is a senior in high school this year. He attends a special school because he was born with some physical challenges. He is nearly deaf and has some heart problems but he is a great kid. He is very intelligent, industrious and hardworking, and a joy to be around. Neither he nor his parents have ever been filled with pity. They have always made the best of the situation and have been successful in nearly every way.

This young man has been taught the Bible by his parents. He not only knows its principles but he lives by them. He is sensitive and caring and has a good grasp of right and wrong.

Because he is nearly ready to leave school, he is interviewing for jobs. Since he has some physical challenges, his school has a counselor who acts as a liason between him and prospective employers. She scheduled an interview for him with a national chain store. He met with the personnel manager on the initial interview and did quite well. So well, in fact, he was called back for a second interview.

This second meeting included a "values test." All prospective employees have to take it to determine whether or not they will be suitable workers in their store. The store, along with a psychologist, developed the test to secure what they perceive to be those people who fit their profile for success.

A few days after his son had taken this test, his counselor from school called my friend and told him that his son would not be hired. Concerned, he asked why. He was told it was because of his score on the "values test." Wondering how his son, who had been taught Biblical values from the time he was an infant, could have failed a "values test," he pressed for more information. "Oh no," the counselor said, "Your son didn't fail the values test. He scored too high." You see, the store has determined that instead of people whose integrity and honesty allow them to score very high on this test -- my friend's son scored 100% -- they want those whose scores range between 60% and 70%. Why? Because they think that someone who scores 100% on the test, must be lying. They prefer employees who are "honest" enough to admit they are not honest. "Who'da thunk it!?!"

Would you like to know what some of the questions were? One was, "Do you think it is stealing to take pencils and pens that belong to the store home from work?" My friend's son answered "yes." He has been taught from the Bible that it is always wrong to steal something that doesn't belong to you. His answer was considered incorrect because this is something that "everyone does."

Another question was, "In the hours that you do not have a break, how many minutes do you think you should work?" The question was multiple choice so my friend's son checked the box in front of "60 minutes." He knew that one should give an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. He also knew he should work "not with eyeservice as men-pleasers" (Eph. 6:6). His answer, according to this store, was incorrect. They said the proper answer should have been "45 minutes." It is no wonder retail prices are high when the employees of the stores are only working, at maximum, three-fourths of the time.

My friend had the unpleasant and nearly impossible task of explaining to his son that he did not get the job because he was too honest. It is hard enough for a teenager to face rejection but to be rejected because you are too honest is difficult for anyone to swallow.

The Bible tells us that evil men will grow "worse and worse" (2 Timothy 3:13). We are living in a time and a society where that certainly is the case. Biblical values and principles are no longer the standard for many people. It seems that every time you turn around you are confronted with an example of the sagging moral values of this country. The high rate of juvenile crime, illegal drug use, rampant sexual immorality, the willingness to succeed at any cost no matter how dishonest one has to be, and the devaluing of human life with abortions conducted and suicides promoted, all speak of the spiritual deterioration of a nation and its people. But to get turned down for a job because you are too honest? "Who'da thunk it?"

One of the songs I have sung in worship since I was a young boy has the refrain, "And I can't feel at home in this world anymore." I can't. The stark contrast of the evil of this world to the glory and righteousness that is of God becomes clearer to me every day. May each of us detemine to remain unspotted from the world, no matter what the cost, so that we can live forever in heaven with those who are honest, virtuous, and righteous while the rest of the world goes to hell.