The Fight For Integrity

As she was unloading the last grocery bag from the shopping cart into her car, she noticed a can of tomatoes jammed into the corner of the cart.  “That must have fallen out of one of the bags,” she thought to herself. Then immediately the thought came to her mind, “What if that can was overlooked and never made it up onto the conveyor belt with the other items to be scanned by the clerk?” She thought about looking through the bags right then to check the receipt for the item, but she really wanted to get home. Hopping into her vehicle, she told herself that she would look when she got home to make sure the tomatoes were on the receipt. The husband and kids were out when she arrived at the house, so she brought the groceries in and put them all away. Finally she took the receipt and began scanning to see if the can of tomatoes was indeed listed. She had put 2 cans of them in her cart. Upon careful perusal, there was only 1 can of tomatoes listed at  58 cents. “Well, I guess I should head back to the store,” she counselled herself. At the same time she was thinking, “58 cents. Why make a big deal over 58 cents? Nobody even knows that this item was not rung up.” An image came to her mind of a young man running away from a woman who stood screaming for help while she held a garment in her hand. It was Joseph, which to her was the epitome of integrity, Joseph who refused to become bitter, Joseph who did the right thing when nobody was looking. What did his honesty cost him? He was thrown into a prison for not giving in to the temptation to committ adultery, but it was really all part of God’s plan. What would taking back this can of tomatoes cost her? It would take a little bit of time and a little bit of gas, but she knew it was the right thing to do. Not a soul knew about that can of 58 cent tomatoes, but she knew that God knew. She also knew that she was being tested, and she wanted to make the right choice. There was a rational choice, a convenient choice, a “what would most people do” choice, but she wanted to make the right choice.  She decided to eat a quick lunch, since she was starving and then head back to the store. With receipt and tomatoes in her hand, she walked back into the store. Since the cashier who had waited on her was not there, and the lines were very long, she decided she didn’t really need this 2nd can of tomatoes that badly, so she walked down to the aisles where the tomatoes were and put it back on the shelf.

Sometimes we battle with seemingly “little things”. They may be things that nobody knows about except you and God. This little incident I wrote about happened to me yesterday. I can’t say I’ve always made the right choice when it comes to matters of integrity, but I feel like I made the right one yesterday.(although I probably should have been quicker to do so.) I was reminded of a story from the Children’s Book of Virtues that I read years ago to my children called Someone Sees You. ( Click here for an illustrated slideshow of the story.) May God help us to be men, women, boys and girls of integrity, not only in the big things but in the little things as well because Someone is always looking.


5 thoughts on “The Fight For Integrity

  1. Amen. I had an incident happened to me a few days ago at a fast foods restaurant. The girl made change and gave me more than I had originally given her. She seemed shocked when I told her what had happened. She wasn’t pleasant in getting the money back but who cares, I felt rewarded as my integrity wasn’t in peril by doing so.

  2. WAH, I’m a bit unsure here: did you do it because it was right thing to do or do it to appear to do the right thing to impress Someone?

    Motivation has as much to do determining integrity as the act itself.

    Hello Tildeb, and welcome to my blog. I did what I did because I believe it was pleasing to God. Plain and simple.

    1. Isn’t that a rather dangerous criteria for acting, thinking that some action is pleasing to god?

      Isn’t there an even more dangerous criteria for our actions in acting them out without any regard to what God(with a capital G) thinks? After all, if one believes that there is a God to whom we will give account one day, wouldn’t one want to conduct themselves in a way that is pleasing to Him?

  3. It is very inspiring to know that there are still good people like you who not only want to please God, but also know the value of honesty. Acting with integrity leads to a clean conscience, which many people lack today. God does care about the little things, no matter how insignificant they are. To Him, they tell so much about our hearts.
    God Bless 🙂
    Hi Nancy. I couldn’t be good without God’s Spirit living inside of me. Even with the Holy Ghost, we still don’t always do right, but thank God He is merciful and patient with us and will forgive us when we come to Him in true repentance. Thanks for stopping by. It was good to see you on Saturday. I’ll try to send some recipes soon.

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