Monday, November 19, 2007

Worth More Than $8.00

Over the last couple of months Walmart inadvertently stole $8.00 from us: once due to my own foolishness and another time due to an error on the part of a cashier. The first incident involved my purchase of 2 gallons of apple juice (@ $2.00 ea) which I promptly left on the counter at the store. The second incident, however, occurred as we were trying to buy a bag of green apples for $3.99, but we were charged at the "per apple" price bringing the cost to nearly $8.00. (I'm noticing a trend with the apple thing, aren't you?)

These events were honestly what made today's decision a little difficult and provided an easy temptation to ignore the Holy Spirit within me. You see, we purchased a Christmas present for my sister that another family member had already bought for her. (I can't tell you what it was; she may be reading this!) So, this afternoon, I took back the item to receive my $24.00 refund. The cashier graciously took care of my need, handed over the cash to me, and as I turned to walk away from the desk, was greeted by Danica Chalk and her sons (hey, guys!). I put the money in my purse to hug her and introduce them all to my mom.

After a brief visit, Momma and I went to get a couple of items, and when we went to check out, I pulled out the money the cashier had given to me. Much to my surprise, I found not one $20 bill, but two. She'd given me $44.00, not $24.00.

Now, at first, I began to ask myself how this had happened; if I'd paid more for the item initially than I'd realized. But, after double checking the receipt, I knew what the error was. Immediately, the apple incidents jumped to my mind, and Satan began helping me "justify" keeping this money because of the money I'd lost recently. Before I could do the math to see if it would balance out, the Holy Spirit began pressing my heart as though he had laid a hand across my chest: "That money isn't yours. Let me even the score with Walmart; don't you do it." So, I went back to the customer service desk, found the cashier who'd handled my return, and interrupted a transaction to let her know what happened. Although she seemed sincerely grateful, the reaction of the customer she was helping was the most noticeable thing of all. Her jaw dropped to the floor. If I'd had half a brain I would have said something like, my faith in Christ wouldn't allow me to keep it, just to offer a positive testimony, but I wasn't that smart.
Nevertheless, I hope the Lord will use my behavior to have an effect on both the cashier and that customer in a way that can only be explained by his power and presence.

But most important for me tonight is knowing my integrity is worth more than $8.00.

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