Honesty Is the Best Policy

 In Blog, Pam Cavanaugh

I remember my old neighborhood where I grew up: staying out late at night on Sullivan Street hill, laughing and hanging out with neighborhood friends. We didn’t even lock our doors until time to go to bed. We lived knowing we could trust our neighbors with whom we shared our lives.

We have come a long way. There is the sense that we cannot trust anyone: government, neighbors. And in many facets of our lives, we are using devices to protect us. Social media invades our personal lives so much. People we look up to fail. People in positions fall. Honesty seems to have lost its way.

Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever is just, lovely, pure, whatever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” In this day in which we live and walk, we must walk honestly. We must “put on the Lord Jesus Christ”.

I went to my local grocery store a few weeks ago. They had let some Boston Ferns get bad, so they marked them down from $10 to $3.99. I knew I could Miracle Grow and nurture these plants back to health.

I hung one on the side of my cart and handed the bar code of the other plant to the cashier and told her I had two plants. She rang up my groceries then leaned over and whispered something to me. I really could not understand her, so I dismissed this awkward situation.

When I got home, I went over my ticket, as I always do, just to check. I realized the cashier had only charged me for one fern. It hit me that the cashier was whispering to me that she didn’t charge me for the second fern, as if we would overlook this and let it go.

Now I know that my own heart could excuse this whole incident. “Well, it was her fault. It’s only $3.99, etc., etc.”, but I knew what I must do. I returned to the store a few days later and approached a different cashier. I had kept the bar code ticket, so I showed it to the cashier and explained the whole story. Then I told her that I needed to pay for the other fern.

What happened next really surprised me. The cashier kept looking at me like she couldn’t believe I came back. I told her the second fern didn’t belong to me if I didn’t pay for it. Have you ever been somewhere and you just feel someone glaring at you? I turned to the women next to me in line. The look on her face was as though I looked like an alien from another planet. Then the cashier kept thanking me over and over.

I walked away thinking this should not be that big of a deal, that uncommon. I also realized, sadly, that it is not common for this kind of honesty to show up. When I think of the audience I had, 1 Thessalonians 4:12 comes to mind. “That you may walk honestly toward those who are outside (without), that you may have lack of nothing.” This is our response; our proper testimony to the unsaved, a world that needs to see and know true honesty in life.

Lest I leave you with the impression that I am this wonderful person, I could have only carried this out because the Lord has planted His grace in my heart. His saving grace is responsible for me doing the right thing. 2 Corinthians 8:21 says, “Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.”

Yes, in the seemingly small uninteresting day to day activity of a housewife, honesty is the best policy.

Pam Cavanaugh

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