Thursday, October 24, 2013

Was My Loss of Integrity Worth the Ten Cents I Was Saving?

That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the Spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.  Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man Truth with his neighbour for we are members one of another.  Ephesians, Chapter 4, verses 22-25.

This passage is basically saying that once you become a Christian, you should start living the life of a Christian, putting away your old sinful behaviors.  It makes me think of a time when I went to the grocery store with coupons in hand; ready to cut my expenses big time!  I remember having a coupon for ten cents off of a particular brand of raisins.  I didn't want that brand of raisins, though.  It probably was considerably more expensive even with the ten cent off coupon.  I ended up getting the cheaper box of raisins, knowing it wasn't the right brand for the coupon.
I rationalized my actions, thinking it was only a dime.  I gave the cashier the ten cent off coupon deliberately mixed in between all my other coupons, hoping she didn’t realize that I had substituted the cheaper brand for the more expensive one.
She told me the total for my groceries and I started writing my check and had to stop.  This situation impacted my life!  The cashier didn’t realize I was lying and was stealing by substituting the cheaper brand of raisins for the coupon I used.  I knew and what was worse, God knew!  Was my loss of integrity worth the ten cents I was saving?  (It’s funny how Satan can sneak up on some of us “Self-righteous Christians,” in very subtle ways.)
I immediately gave her ten cents for the raisins, telling her that I was sorry I had gotten a more expensive brand than the coupon stated.  She told me not to worry about it, it was just a dime.  I told her that I wanted her to take the dime anyway, saying I knew I had taken the wrong raisins and I wouldn’t feel right unless she took the money.  Actually, I thought she would be horrified that I would do such a thing.  I was prepared to be totally embarrassed by the cashier’s reaction because I really deserved it, but it didn’t happen that way.
I didn’t have an obvious consequence for my actions.  It was more the realization that I was lying to God and myself.  I was jeopardizing my Salvation over money.  I’m fortunate that God has this situation pop back in my mind as a reminder from time to time.  It’s especially helpful when I’m a “Looking at the Angles Christian,” figuring out some kind of angle to beat the system or I’m wording things very carefully so that I’m not telling the whole truth in situations, but not exactly telling a lie, either.
I’m very thankful that God gives me a conscience to remind me when I start slipping into old human ways again.

Because this is an example of how I've applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn't necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections.

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