When I was a kid, I was honest to a fault (most of the time). It actually got me in big trouble once when I was twelve. To me, there was never a second thought about whether or not I would return money if a clerk gave me too much change, or what I would do if I found money or a wallet outside. Everything, and I mean everything, was black and white.
I have finally realized that there are gray areas, but now the problem is remembering that there are some things that need to be definite black and white. And now it's not always easy for me to choose the right thing.
Tonight was a worship night at church. It was amazing. Off the hook, and all that jazz. I was really inspired to finish a painting I've been working on, but I decided that I need glitter to finish it, so I made a quick stop at Target on the way home. I decided to look at the dollar spot, which can be dangerous because it's easy to spend more than you think on those items. I found a bunch of socks, which is great because I love fun socks, even more so when they're only $1. Plus they wear out fast, so it's always good to replenish my supply, especially now that it's getting colder.
At the checkout the total was less than I thought it would be, which confused me because I thought I had counted correctly. I didn't really want to think about it, and I started to walk towards the door. But I kept looking at my receipt. I counted two, three times, then went back through my bag and matched everything up. Yes, the cashier missed a pair of socks. It was a just a dollar, and my first thought was, score, free socks! Then I realized how dishonest that was. Sometimes you don't notice until you're home, or at all, but I noticed while I was still in the store. I stood there for a minute, then I pulled out a pair and walked back towards an open register. I handed the cashier the socks and pulled out my card again.
As I was driving home, the thought flitted through my mind, "I hope God saw that and blesses me for it." I then immediately realized how backwards that thought was. I shouldn't want or expect anything extra for doing what should be second-nature. If anything, it was wrong that I considered just walking away with something that I knew I didn't pay for.
I'm not saying that it was some big drama. I just bought some socks. But the whole thing showed me some areas of my heart that need work. I'm a little ashamed that it felt so hard to do such a simple right thing. I want it to be easy to do the right thing. I want to be so in tune with God that I don't consider doing anything shady. I want to be open and honest and do the right thing, even when it's hard.