When Honesty Preaches a Sermon
“You mean to tell me that you try to be honest—all the time?” The man (whom I'll call Bill) looked incredulously at Dad.
“Yes,” Dad replied. “I mean, I’m human. I mess up sometimes. But it’s what I strive for.”
“This is part of your religion, right?”
“It’s part of having a relationship with Christ,” Dad answered. “I take it very seriously.”
“Not even little white lies?”
“It’s still a lie, right?”
Bill shrugged. “Gotta be hard to live a life like that. But if you really do what you say, then I respect it.”
A few days later, Mom pulled up at the gas pump at the local station and filled the tank of our fuel-chugging van. Taking a quick note of the price ($56.80), she stepped inside the air-conditioned station to pay.
“Forty-eight thirteen,” the cashier announced.
Mom, who was just pulling out her wallet, paused. “Are you sure? My meter said fifty-six eighty.”
The cashier cast my mother a quizzical glance. “Well, my machine says forty-eight thirteen.”
“I’m sure I owe you more,” Mom insisted.
A quick trip to the meter in question solved the matter. The cashier scratched his head. “Wow. Don’t know why it’s off. I wonder how many people have filled up today for less than they should have. Thanks for telling me.”
The next day, Dad met Bill again.
“Hey,” Bill called to Dad. “Remember our conversation about honesty a few days back?”
“Well, I was in the station the other day when your wife came in. The computer was off, and she could have gotten away with paying less for her gas than she should have. But she didn’t. She brought the cashier’s attention to the discrepancy, and paid the full amount.”
Bill blinked at Dad, sizing him up. “I guess you really do believe in this honesty stuff, huh?”
Since this incident, I have often wondered: How would Bill have perceived Christ had my mother reacted differently? How often do we go about our day, unaware that our deeds are watched and evaluated by others? How often have we preached a whole sermon about Christ—without saying a single word?
How has the Lord used your deeds, or the deeds of others, to demonstrate some truth about Himself?
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None of my life has gone the way it was "supposed to go," but I don't love my life any less because of the hardships and new directions. I see so much unexpected good in it, and I want others to see the good in theirs.