What would you do?
April 18, 2011
by Pastor Philip Geoffrion, Albion Evangelical Free Church, Rural Cokato

What would you do if you were in the check-out line and your two items were scanned, but only one registered? Would you quickly sign for the credit and walk away with a “two-for-one” bag of stuff? Or, would you mention it to the cashier? Be honest.

Just last week I faced this situation at a local store. I was purchasing two ink cartridges for my printer, each about $25. Even though the clerk properly scanned them both, only one registered.

She announced the total due, and I got out my credit card. It didn’t sink in immediately, but when I went to sign on the credit line it hit me – this amount due isn’t enough.

I had a quick decision to make, and fortunately, I made the honorable one. I said to the cashier, “Did you charge me for one cartridge or two?”

She looked at the total, saw the error, and said with a look of wonder, surprise, and admiration, “You are one of the few who would mention this.”

My response was, “Well, I’m a Christian, and I ask myself in these situations, ‘What would Jesus do?’”

She nodded and affirmed her agreement as she said, “Yes, we all have to answer someday for our actions. It’s nice to meet a fellow believer.” With a smile exchanged between the two of us, she rang up the second cartridge.

How about you? What would you do in such a situation? Would you rationalize that the company is a large one and would never know the difference? Would you debate whether the amount was significant enough to mention? Would you find another reason?

What have you done when you get too much change or aren’t charged the correct price or find something in your cart after you get to the car that you haven’t paid for?

Perhaps the amount would be infinitesimal for the large corporation, but it would be monumental for you personally. How much would you sell your integrity for? $2.50? $25? $250? $2,500? Or more?

Make up your mind now to be a man or woman of integrity, with honesty as your policy. Then, when the situation suddenly presents itself, you’ll be primed and ready to respond in a spontaneous and honest way.

Remember, Jesus left us an example, that we should walk in His steps. I believe Jesus would have pointed out the error and paid for the second cartridge, don’t you?

Jesus said that I prove my love for him as I obey him. It gives me a sense of satisfaction knowing that I did the right thing. I also gain peace of mind as I bring honor and glory to the Christ whose name I bear.