by | Sep 17, 2023 | Choices, Honesty

I went shopping recently and I bought some chocolate and sticky toffee puddings for a quick Sunday lunch and I also bought a packet of sponge scourers to replace the worn out ones that I do the pots and pans.

When I got to the car I checked my till receipt I found that I have been charged for two lots of sponges.  Oh dear!  I went back into the shop and claimed my money back from the cashier. I politely showed her the two lots of sponges next to each other on the till receipt and said I was sure I only had bought only one packet so, to keep me happy, she refunded me the difference onto my bank card.  Away I went happy not to be overcharged, as it occasionally does do this.

At home when I unpacked the shopping I found that there had been two lots of sponges bought by me, not packets of pot scourers but packets of edible sponges, one chocolate and one sticky toffee pudding. Oh the dawning awareness, horror and ignominy of it. 

Maybe I could keep quiet and say nothing and nobody would know?  Maybe I could write it off for the next time I was overcharged or in lieu of something that was faulty as has already happened? 

Decision time.

I will not knowingly be dishonest, not for any moral highbrow reason, except that I know it offends my Saviour.  More importantly I know that I have been set free from being held captive by the Evil One for past failures and I have been given a clear conscience: A precious gift.

There are enough issues to deal with without adding to the foothold this would give the Devil again.  To be reminded of my guilt every time I visited the shop.  This is where the Devil loves to play, to separate us from Jesus, through guilt, shame and denial.

Knowing this truth I went back to the shop with the packet of sponge puddings to be paid for.  I made my way to the same cashier and waited for my turn to explain to her that it was not a mistake made by the machine, or her, but my mistake: mistaking a pot scourer sponge for the two packets of edible sponges. 

In seeing my embarrassment she laughed, smiled and thanked me for my honesty as I paid.  If I had not gone back to the shop to tell her, she would have seen her supposed failure as a check against her self-confidence.

All it cost me was some pride and fuel.  Ring any bells?

Prayer: LORD,  thank You for being with us, even when we mess up, and grant us the courage today to be Your shining lights and where it is possible to make amends for our mistakes in Jesus’ name, amen.

Rod Marshall