Posted by: Mike Willoughby | January 11, 2010

Worth Doing Right: Part 1

Last month in Mending Fences, I related a story from my childhood involving my Grandpa Craig.  There have been a number of people who have had a tremendous impact on my life and I hope to share stories involving many of them.  However, except for my parents and my wife, not many people have influenced me like my Grandpa Craig.  This will not be the last time you hear about him in Intersections.

One of my fondest memories as a child is spending summers “working” with Grandpa.  I now realize I probably created more hassle for him than any benefit I might have provided but I know Grandpa was not interested in mere labor productivity – he was looking for a different kind of return on his investment.  During those summers, he had me perform simple maintenance tasks such as greasing the tractor and implements at the end of the work day, washing the dust off the tractor and cleaning out grain bins.  When I was older, I graduated to driving the big tractor and the GMC grain truck as well as operating machinery such as a grain auger.  As he was teaching me to operate these different pieces of equipment and perform these maintenance tasks, he was also teaching me about stewardship.  Like most of his generation that had grown up amidst the Great Depression, he was very conscientious about taking care of his equipment and tools.  With Grandpa, the job was not done until the task was completed, the tools put back in their proper place, spills cleaned up, debris swept up and equipment parked in the garage or in the Quonset building.   Also, it was critical that all this was done well before the town’s siren went off at 6:00p signaling that dinner was going on the table!  His philosophy was summed up best by this piece of advice I must have heard from him a thousand times:

“If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing right!”

Grandpa Craig’s convictions about good stewardship were not generated by Great Depression memories alone.  He understood the resources and time at his disposal were not under his ownership.  He was working with assets on loan from God and the time he was given was given to him by God.  Once, I remember asking him who his boss was and he told me, “Your Grandma is the boss.”  Then he told me, “Actually Jesus is the boss and I have to remember I’m working for Him.”  Grandpa worked hard for Jesus as long as I knew him.

I don’t remember Grandpa ever quoting this scripture to me but I’m certain he knew it well.  The Apostle Paul also understood Jesus was the boss as evidenced in his life and in this scripture from Colossians 3:23-24:

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

I chose this scripture as the key scripture for Intersections because I believe the truth contained in these words is so universally applicable to all areas of our life.  However, if you look at the immediate context of this verse in Colossians 3, Paul is writing specifically about something we call “work ethic.”  Next week I will make some practical application of Paul’s truth and Grandpa’s wisdom to the workplace.  For now, I leave this article with you to consider how in every area of your life, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right!

Until next week,

Meet me at the intersection!


  1. Good Stuff! Young people that are priviledged to have farm/ranch family experience gain an edge.

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