Week three of the study was about honesty. Honesty is what allows us to truly connect with God and others (honesty in connection with repentance in God's case). We can't really grow into the people we were created to be unless we are willing to be open about who we are. I know that I struggle with the desire to hide my sins and temptations. I want people to think that I am doing a-okay and have this God-thing down. I have the prideful desire to be seen as having it all together. The truth is that I don't.
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In our honesty chapter two verses were given to us as reminders. Luke 12:2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. and Hebrews 4:13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
These verses were brought to my mind last week when I found myself in a situation where I could be a woman of integrity and honesty or commit a sin of omission. The kids and I went to Family Christian to purchase a gift. While there I also picked up a few other things I couldn't seem to leave behind. I used a coupon which I was quite excited about. When I got home I looked over the receipt and noticed that two of the items I purchased had not been rung up. Part of me had this thought: Score! It's not your fault that the items didn't ring up so you can keep them. The part of me that is being changed through our study reminded me of the verses above and thought: Even if it wasn't your fault you have realized the error and you should correct it. There's a good chance I wouldn't have shared this dilemma with you if I had chosen not to take the stuff back to the store to pay for it. I was dreading taking the kids back again and spending more time on this errand I thought was finished. However, I did also see that this was a wonderful teaching opportunity for my three year old and I attempted to explain the situation in a way she could understand. [Full disclosure: This may not seem like a big issue to some, but I can be a little tight with money. I tend to jump on opportunities to save. Choosing to pay more money for something when I don't have to is uncomfortable and a stretch for me.]
A similar circumstance happened a few years ago at a different store. I purchased a few things. It seemed to me that one did not ring up so I said this to the clerk and she said that everything was fine. I paid and went home. At home I looked over my receipt and saw that indeed the item did not get rung up. I did not return to the store to correct the error. At the time I rationalized this choice because I had said something to the clerk during the transaction.
I am thankful that now my heart is being bent toward greater depths of honesty and integrity. I am not enjoying the random reminders of past instances of dishonesty or compromised integrity God is bringing to mind. They make me uncomfortable and a little disappointed in myself. However I can rejoice in the knowledge that the reminders afford me the opportunity for true repentance and forgiveness.
Do you ever struggle with honesty? The sin of omission? Do you find that, although God's work in your heart hurts at times, ultimately it brings joy and healing?