Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Best Policy

Honesty Remains the Best Policy

Written by Dr. Bill Bagents

If free is unavailable, I like cheap. Target had the cheapest prices on colas last week. As we checked out, I asked Laura to check the receipt for accuracy. We were charged the advertised price on the colas, but there was a mistake. The scanner failed to record her shampoo. I waited in the truck as she returned to pay.

There was no temptation to steal the shampoo. Our consciences are too well trained. We’d have felt guilty because we would have been guilty. From Exodus 20 to Ephesians 4:28, it’s clear that stealing is wrong. Doing wrong always damages the soul.

As we paid the first time with a debit card, Laura asked for $40 cash back. The clerk handed her two twenties. When she paid for the shampoo, Laura used one of those twenties. To her amusement, the clerk authenticated the bill with his “bill checker” pen. Laura told him, “I noticed you didn’t check that twenty when you gave it me, but now you’re checking it as I give it back.” The irony zipped right over his head. Besides, he was just following store policy. I’m fine with following good policy.

Any time we refuse to steal, we’ve followed many sound policies. You could add notably to the following list:

  • Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”
  • Matthew 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”
  • Matthew 7:12, “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
  • Ephesians 5:17, “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
  • 1 Peter 1:15, “…But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct…”

I’d hate to suffer spiritual defeat over a $6 bottle of shampoo. Doing right pays.

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