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Because someone is watching all that we do

There were a few moments to kill before I was to meet an old friend, therefore since I was near a Hobby Lobby, I decided to run in. To say I love to stroll through this store is an understatement. 

Many of my girlfriends like to shop Marshalls or TJ Maxx to hunt for bargains, but give me a Hobby Lobby chocked full of seasonal décor, fabrics, knick-knacks and crafts, and I become a kid in a candy store.   

I needed to purchase a few birthday cards and search for décor ideas for a party our community is having in May. I thought as I located adorable plastic trays that were perfect for our May event. They were a bit expensive, but good ole’ Hobby Lobby had marked them down by 40 percent.

By now, my time was running out, and I headed to check-out with two trays and cards, only to find a long line.  “Uh-oh, I sure hope this line moves fast or I am going to be late.”

Finally, I got to the cashier who began ringing my merchandise as I glanced at my watch.  “Ma’am, that will be $27.18.”

“Wow,” that is less expensive than I thought. Perhaps the trays were on clearance. The party committee will be proud of my bargain hunt.” I imagined.

Just as I raced toward the exit door, a good angel appeared on my shoulder, telling me to study the receipt.

The evil angel resting comfortably on the other shoulder advised me to hurry to my car. Then I remembered my Mama’s words, “You always pay the price for dishonesty or unkindness. Because someone is watching all that you do.”

Boy, she was sure right about that. Whether we pay it while living or after our obituary is printed, the price will surely be more than $27.18 for most of us. 

Just before I stepped into the cold, I looked at the receipt, my watch, and the good angel who was pointing her finger at me just like Mama used to do when I committed transgressions requiring punishment.

Yes, the cashier keyed $1.19 for each tray instead of the actual price of $7.19. It took me a minute, but Mama and the good angel won, and I returned to Hobby Lobby and waited in another long line.

A different cashier handled the transaction. When I gave her the extra money owed, she said in a sweet, sincere voice, “Thank you for your honesty.”

As I walked away, her words echoed in my mind. She sounded as if honesty was so rare, it was refreshing for her to observe. That bothered me immensely.

Now, let me interject, I am no goody-two-shoes and have listened to Miss Evil Angel so many times, she thinks I am going to be a regular on her aptly-named team, “The Devils.” However, in retrospect, I realize I never got away with anything I did wrongly. I always pay the price, and so does everyone else who cheats or steals and attempts to get away with being dishonest.

Whether we cheat in sports, or we steal money from establishments that charge us less than we owe, or whether we fudge on our taxes, it is still dishonesty. And we will pay the price in more ways than one because someone is watching all that we do. 

Sometimes we all try to make wrongs right. We can justify our sinful actions for various reasons because it feels good, seems right, and believe we deserve to be rewarded for our other good deeds. You and I both know to make wrongs right never works, and it never will no matter what coach Evil Angel says.

I recall long ago being in a ticket line to attend a movie. A father and son were in front of me. The younger man was clearly in the adult price category, but the father said, “One adult, one child,” as he stepped to the window. He paid the amount and exclaimed proudly to his son as he walked away, “Well, we got away with that.”

Did he? I don’t think so, because he just taught his impressionable son a lesson in cheating and stealing.  How many times have we all behaved as the father did? How many times have we failed as parents because of our actions to save money? No wonder the Lord said that money was the root of all evil.

The world will be healthier if we all quit trying to beat the system and pay what we owe, teach our children that honesty is the only way to integrity, and kindness is the only path to becoming truly wealthy.

Because someone is watching all that we do.