Let me start with a little story….
School started for my girls and a new school year means one thing when you have teens. New shoes. (Of course!!) Since we have two teen girls, we have to be super mindful of our budget or it will quickly get out of control buying shoes and clothes, not to mention the important school supplies.
A few weeks ago, my 13 year old found some shoes she really wanted. But they were more than we could spend. I had her try them on, and see how they fit, and told her we’d keep an eye out for a sale.
Well, she’s persistent, and found the shoes she wanted, online for $20 less than we found them in the store! Which was exactly the price we had budgeted for her shoes. So we ordered them. Once they came, we realized they were too big.
We could pay $10 to ship them back and exchange them, but alas, the online store is out of the size we need. So we head back to the local store to see if they had her size in stock.
Now, before I go any further, I want to let you know that I DO try to live a life pleasing to Christ. But what you are about to hear reveals something that I was reminded of this week. I’m a human, and I make horrible decisions that I quickly regret!!!
The local store was also out of her size, but I checked at the service desk and a store about 20 miles away DID have her size. I got an idea.
I admit now, it wasn’t a good idea, but read on….
I told the service desk girl that we got the shoes as a gift and I didn’t have a receipt.
LIE!!! I bought them from a completely different store online. I had the receipt from the other store tucked inside my purse.
I asked if I could do an even exchange of the shoes without a receipt. She said, “of course!”
This was too easy! Or was it????
I went home and called the other location of that store, put the shoes on hold and told my daughter we’d bring the big ones in and exchange them the following day.
That night, long after I went to bed, my daughter called me into her room. That’s never good…
She couldn’t sleep. When I asked her why she told me that she didn’t want the shoes anymore.
When I asked her why she changed her mind, she said that she didn’t want something that I had to lie for. That she was upset that I had lied to the cashier.
GULP. My heart just broke into a million pieces.
After I assured her that I would make it right and apologized for lying, I was humbled by her sincerity. She saw my ugly side exposed and it broke her heart. My baby was seeing me through a lens that left me feeling exposed and ugly. And what she saw was upsetting enough to make something she was excited about something she’d rather not have.
Last night I was in my bible and read this:
“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”
I hear you now, God.
We all know that lying is wrong, don’t we? When we do it, we get that feeling in the pit of our stomach that tells us something isn’t right. But when we get away with it, sometimes we justify it in our minds. But God (and my daughter!) reminded me this week that when we live for Christ, we are to go all in. Move past the things that we do that we now are just plain wrong.
Sometimes telling the truth makes things more difficult, but God never tells us that life here on earth is supposed to be easy
And for the shoes? Believe it or not, when I called the store and told them the TRUTH, they still allowed me to make the exchange. My girl got her shoes, with my conscience intact.
This week, I want to challenge you to listen to what God is telling you. When you know something you might do or say isn’t the right thing to do, take a minute and think before you act. I can tell you, I’m working on shrinking my Pinocchio nose back down to size. A truly humbling experience to say the least.
Dive a little deeper…
1. Take a look at your confessions from last week. Do you see any sin patterns in your life?
2. Read Colossians 3:1-14
3. In your journal, make a list of the things that we are to leave behind when we follow Christ. (see verses 5-10)
4. If you are unsure of the definition of any of the terms on the list, look them up and write them down so you can fully understand what is being said.
5. In your journal, make a list of the things we should strive for as followers of Christ (see verses 12-14)
6. Take some time to pray and journal about how these two lists line up with your life. Be honest with yourself and God, and pray for His guidance as you turn away from the things that you need to leave behind. Ask Him for strength when you need it
The past few weeks, we’ve been going into some dark places in our own hearts. But this is a good thing! Don’t get discouraged about where you’ve gone wrong. Instead, focus on how God is working on you and how far you’ve come.
God is ready and waiting to hear from you. You do not have to do this alone, He is going to walk along beside you. Allow this time with Him to cleanse your soul from the burdens that you are carrying. Just talk to Him!