Taking the Crooked Path

‘Whoever walks in integrity walks securely but whoever takes the crooked paths will be found out.’ – Proverbs 10:9

The crooked paths.may 18 2013[1]

They are often the easy paths.  The paths everyone else is taking.  They can look like a lot of fun.  There are often short-term benefits when we wander down them.

But we want to walk securely, right?  In order to do that, we have to choose integrity.

And that’s not as easy as it sounds – especially with the Evil One scheming against us.

One of the lessons I had to learn about being completely honest is what I used to call ‘bonus’ time at stores and restaurants. A  ‘Bonus’ was when I literally got something for nothing – the clerk made a mistake and didn’t charge me for something.  I used to rationalize this – we all know there are other times that we are overcharged, right?  So when I received a ‘bonus’, it was just evening things out a little.  Or – these items are overpriced anyway – I’m probably paying closer to what they are worth.  Any of these sound familiar?

Then I realized that Satan used this situation to tempt me away from being honest.  I didn’t have integrity when I knowingly accepted these ‘bonuses’ without saying anything.  

I know that Satan liked messing with me in this area because these ‘bonus’ opportunities happened a lot to me.  A checker at Target tried to charge me for only one part of a two-part lamp.  Staples didn’t charge me for 2 small bulletin boards when I was picking up supplies for the office.   A clerk at J.C. Penney’s got different piles of clothes mixed up and didn’t ring up about $70 worth of clothes – until I brought it to her attention.  Yup –  I decided I was finished with letting Satan tempt me in this area so I started always bringing it to the clerk’s attention so they could charge me correctly.

So Satan has raised his game up a level.  Now I get bonus items but I don’t realize it until I’m out in the car or when I’m unpacking the shopping bags at home.  It’s very tempting for me to just let the ‘bonus’ ride at this point because going back and telling people I wasn’t charged for something is a huge hassle and the response I get is not usually positive.  I get the ‘you are seriously crazy’ look from most of the customer service people when I bring up an item and tell them I wasn’t charged for it.  It’s not about money anymore – it’s about the hassle.

So – to be honest, I don’t always bring the item back.  I’m telling you this because I’m making a committment to bring it all back from here on out…..every bonus, every time.  My actual strategy is to take more notice of the check-out process to make sure everything is charged so I can avoid the ‘crazy lady’ routine later. 

Satan is NOT winning this one!

I’ll be needing some serious help with this one, dear Father.

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