Johnny Johnson’s Story

But ye turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom ye had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants and for handmaids.

Jeremiah 34:16

Johnny Johnson’s Ford dealership had been in his family for three generations. His grandfather, Angus Johnson, was one of the first authorized dealers. The original franchise license, signed by Henry Ford, was framed and proudly displayed in the main showroom.

However, Johnny was not the most honest dealer in town. He inflated prices on everything and insisted that his salesman up-sell the buyer with meaningless extras. This created a poor reputation for his business which drove down sales, and service calls.

Johnny was worried about losing his profitable business. In his distress he decided to go to church one Sunday. On that particular day, the sermon was on living a life of integrity. Johnny thought about this and decided to change his tactics and offer honest prices and a low-pressure sales environment. To cover his losses, he inflated the interest rate his financial team offered by 1 percent.

He then made a deal with God, “I’ll be honest with my customers, but you have to bless my business with success.” This was followed by an ad campaign proclaiming Johnny as the most honest dealer in town. He even borrowed the Johnny Appleseed imagery for his business. He gave away cars to local pastors and non-profits, the images of which filled billboards along the interstate.

This seemed to turn things around for the Johnson Dealership, for awhile. However, it just wasn’t enough. Johnny’s short lived success made him hungry for more. The only way to take his business to the next level was to hike prices again.

Eventually, it all fell apart and Johnny Johnson blamed the Lord for not keeping his end of the bargain.

  • Why do men perform a selected activity with the hope of gaining God’s favor or averting punishment?
  • How often do you think a bargain with God impacts a person’s behavior?
  • Why are some bargains with God short lived?

Published by David B. Smith

Author, podcaster, pastor, and Big Pappa to my grandchildren.

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