Monday, August 9, 2010

Who Are We When Nobody's Watching?

Today I went shopping at the Super-Target (that's what Moms do).  I needed groceries and a few school supplies for the kids.  After an hour of shopping, I was ready to go.  I'm not one of those women who lives to shop by any stretch!  I can only take so much shopping. 

Anyway, after my groceries and supplies were rung up and I saved $30 in coupons (yay me!), I was on my way out to the car in the 95 degree heat.  I unloaded my cart and realized that the milk was still under the cart - and I had completely forgotten to hand it to the cashier.  Nobody seemed to notice, but I knew it was not my milk yet because I hadn't paid for it.

So I began to think....

It's super - hot and if I leave these groceries in the car to go back inside, that won't be good.  Nobody noticed.  I didn't do it on purpose.  It's not like I do this all the time.  I don't want to have to wait in line again.  Maybe I should just....

Then it all just stopped as I knew in my heart I had to go pay for the milk.  No sense in entertaining these ridiculous thoughts anymore!  Gosh, it's so easy to justify things sometimes.  So I left my groceries in the car and took the milk back inside.  The security guard was standing there watching me bring the milk into the store. "Is everything ok, ma'am?"  "Oh, yes, this milk was under my cart and I forgot to have it rung up, so I brought it back in to pay for it."  He looked at me with a huge smile and said "God bless you, little lady."  I smiled back at him as I realized God used this man's words to remind me that blessing always follows obedience.  

I went to go stand in line and immediately, a new line opened up, so I didn't have to wait at all.  I paid for my milk and walked out, passing the security guard who was still smiling at me.  My groceries were only in the hot car for a few short minutes.  It was worth it.  Maybe nobody noticed that I took it out of the store, unpaid for, but God did.  Maybe nobody would care if I drove away.  Most people would understand, right?  But God would know.  God would care.  And you know,  even if some people would think it was silly and not a big deal, I know it was the right thing to do.  As I walked out, I could feel God's pleasure.  He was pleased with this decision and He was already blessing me!

As I drove home, I prayed that God would help me to see if there are any other areas in my life that I think I can get away with because nobody's watching.  I thanked Him for the reminder that He sees and He knows everything.   I prayed and asked Him to continue to help me to live a life of integrity and to build my character.  I have so far to go - but He is good and He will never give up on me!

Is there something in your life you think nobody is noticing?  Maybe you have people in your life who have noticed and they are telling you it's not a big deal, but you know in your heart that it's wrong.  You keep doing it because you want to believe it's not a big deal...but you are living with a constant dripping faucet in the back of your mind.  Today can be the day that you can be free.  Nobody may notice, but God will.  And He will be pleased, my friend. 

If I hadn't taken that milk back to pay for it, I would have given the enemy a foothold in my life.  Don't allow him to convince you it's not a big deal.  What starts as a tiny spark can turn into a raging inferno if it is not dealt with.  The hard choices are called "hard" for a reason - they take guts.  But God will give you the strength and the ability to stop the drip. 

2 Chronicles 16:9 
 For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

Psalm 139:23-24
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
       test me and know my anxious thoughts.

See if there is any offensive way in me,
       and lead me in the way everlasting.


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