Man Up

So, I went to Walgreens today, and as I entered into the parking lot, I parked straight-in right next to this van. I slightly cracked the driver’s door open in order to step out the car, but then out of no where, this strong gust wind pushed my door all the way open, and the door slammed into the van next to me. The green paint from my car scratched the side of the van. I tried not to make it seem obvious by staring at the damage, so I quickly walked inside the store in order to keep from looking suspicious.

I told myself I was going to just purchase my item, then jump back in the car and drive off before the owner of that van finds out what happened. So, once I got the item I went in for, I rushed outside to the car so I could just drive off. But lo and behold, the owner of the van had made it outside before me, and was sitting inside her van, talking on the phone.

I couldn’t look at her face because I felt guilty. So after glancing at the scratch on her van once more, I got in my car and started the ignition. Then that’s when the warfare started in my mind: (If I drive off, I’m going to feel extremely guilty and the incident will be on my conscience all day. But if I tell her, she might curse me out or try to sue me or something. But it’s not even that noticeable, I tried to justify myself. She’ll never know it was me.) I was afraid of the possible consequences. So I was willing to cover up my fault. I put the car in reverse and got ready to pull out. But the Holy Spirit wouldn’t let me drive off. As I sat there in a state of contemplation, I heard a still small voice speak to me: “SO WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?”

I grew convicted. I knew I had to make a righteous decision. So I got out the car, waved at the lady through her window and told her what happened. I told her I scratched her car. She quickly got out her car and looked at the damage. “I’m so sorry,” I told her. “It was an accident. The wind blew my door wide open and it slammed into your car. Please forgive me.” She looked really upset.

“I started not to tell you,” I continued. “I was just going to drive off and pretend like it wasn’t me who did it, but my conscience wouldn’t let me do that. You see, I’m a Christian, and I’m trying to live righteously. I don’t want to lie.” Suddenly, the expression of disappointment on her face turned into a look of compassion. She saw the light in me. “If I would’ve gotten home and noticed that scratch on my car, I would have been mad, and I would’ve known it was your car that did it,” she said. Most people would have just driven off. But you are different. Since you decided to be honest, I can’t help but let you off the hook. Don’t worry about the scratch.”

“Thank you so much,” I told her. “God bless you.” She gave me a warm smile and then we both got back into our cars. As I backed out of the parking spot, she waved and smiled at me again. Phew. I’m so used to living in fear of consequences, so I’ve grown accustomed to behaving deceitfully–justifying myself, lying, covering up my faults, and shifting the blame on others–much like my forefather Adam did in the Garden of Eden. But I thank God that he’s been dealing with my integrity lately, even though it hurts to be honest sometimes. I also thank God that he is helping me to overcome fear, for fear has to do with torment. But as long as I walk in the perfect love of God, fear shall have no power over me.

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