It was a full day.
Errands, shopping, enjoying lunch with “the girls.”
I was finishing my last stop of the day as the sun was setting. I was ready to get home.
As I wheeled the shopping cart filled with groceries and such toward my car, my eye caught something underneath the cart on the bottom rack.
Ugh. Oh no.
The case of bottled water I set there.
The case of bottled water I forgot about.
The case of bottled water I didn’t pay for.
All I wanted to do was get home. The last thing I felt like doing was walking back into Target with the cart and the case of water.
I unloaded the filled bags into my car, locked it again, turned my cart around, and pushed it back into the store with the case of water underneath.
Arriving at the customer service counter, the young man there asked, “How may I help you, ma’am?”
“This is going to sound strange, but I realized when I got to my car I had forgotten about this case of water and didn’t pay for it when I went through the check out line,” I replied as I lifted the water onto the counter.
He responded with, “Doing your good deed for the day, huh?”
“It’s just the right thing to do,” was my answer.
It is never wrong to do the right thing.
I paid my $3.49 for the water, and carried the case back out to my car.
And I thanked God for the lesson.
God has taught me time and time again, what we do, and how we live, matters. When we are faced with the decision of doing what’s right or doing what’s easy, I’ve learned it’s always best to do what’s right. No matter what.
No one would have known that I didn’t pay for that water. No one… except God and me. I can’t hide anything from Him. He’s the One who knows every thought, hears every word, and sees every deed. My desire is to glorify Him in my life. Why would I let a case of water mess all of that up?? No thank you.
Sure, at the time it would have been “easier” to not walk back in the store and pay for the water. But can you imagine how I’d be feeling tonight?? My conscience would be heavy with guilt, regret, and remorse. It wouldn’t have been a peaceful night.
I can lay my head on my pillow tonight, knowing I did the right thing. And sleep in peace.
The last thing I want to do is come across as “tooting my own horn.” That’s not my intention here. My desire is to encourage each of us to do what’s right. Even if “no one will ever know.” Even if it’s not the “easiest.” Even when you’re tired and you just want to get home. Even if it’s only a case of bottled water worth $3.49.
Doing the right thing matters, and God is glorified when we do so.
(It’s a joy to link up with friends Holly and Kelly today. You’ll be encouraged as you visit their blog homes!)
Looking for more?
Enter your email to instantly access my FREE RESOURCES - exclusively for my readers!
Your information is safe with me and will never be shared.
I have a “going back” story, and I hope you will bear with me.
The summer before last, while I could still drive, I picked up my wife from the commuter train station when she came home from work. We live on a mesa in New Mexico, and it has rained that afternoon. As we neared the house, Barbara said, “Wait. Go back.”
Not one to disobey my wife, I turned the car around, and was directed to stop by a water-filled ditch…in which struggled a small, bedraggled terrier. There was a fence by the ditch, and a Lab was barking frantically – :”Save her! Save her!”
I picked up the little girl, and immediately knew something wasn’t right; her hind legs were not moving. I thought at first that she had been hit by a car, but she was unscarred – except that her spine was displaced. Someone had broken her back, and tossed her into the ditch to die.
We were in an odd position. The dog clearly needed a vet, but our bank account had just been hacked, and we had $7 to get through the next two weeks, until the next pay check.
Nonetheless, we took her to an after-hours vet, who confirmed that the little girl’s back was broken, and that there was nothing he could do.
He did say that there was something we could do, however. We could love her, and carry her over the paths she would never walk. He was weeping silently when we left, and he asked for no money.
And so…Bella. We made a wheelchair from lawnmower parts, and then realized, one day…that she was trying to walk out of it. Her spine was broken, but the spinal cord was largely intact. There has followed daily physical therapy.
Today she can stand on her own, and take a few hopping steps. She is building strength and fitness daily, and is the terror of our Pit Bull population. She bites. Hard.
As I write this she is watching me from her sleeping crate.
I think it was the right thing to do. I think that Bella agrees.
Wow, Andrew. Amazing story. So glad you shared it! Doing the right thing made a difference for all involved. Great job! Yay, Bella.
I read your reply to Bella. When I got to, “Yay, Bella!” she started barking.
Thank you for sharing this as part of the Cheerleading linkup – it has brought me joy to hear of your attitude in doing the right thing. We live in a world of cutting corners, please ourselves and taking the easy option. Jesus did say take up our cross daily and follow Him – making that decision everyday to do the right thing that is pleasing to God. It is always the right thing to please God, rather than man. So encouraged by your words of insight and thank you for reminding me that God is glorified when we do the right thing! God bless! 🙂
Hi Ruth! Thank you for stopping in and for sharing. Yes, take up our cross daily and follow Him. Thank you for that truth! God bless you, and Merry Christmas!
Amen Julie! You are so right that there is freedom in the place of honesty. Thank you for encouraging us in this truth. Sometimes, it is those little decisions where we can really fall. I love your cheer for truth. Your words are valued and appreciated. Thank you.
Hi Kelly! Thank you for stopping in and for hosting the link! What a fun and encouraging place you have. My God bless you as you lead to cheer others on for Him!
Great post Julie! “Doing the right thing brings peace”, Amen. Thank you for sharing this story and encouraging us with us!
Hi friend! It’s good to see you here. I continually need to be reminded. God bless you!
Once I bought 100 pieces of scrapbook paper and the young man at the register only charged me for five. I didn’t realize it until the store was closed so I went back the next day. I was afraid the boy would get into trouble if his mistake was discovered. When I told him he had made an error and that I was there to pay for the remaining 95 pieces, he said, “My dad told me there were no more honest people in the world.” I nearly cried at the lesson this boy had been taught in his home and grateful to be the conduit through which God taught him the truth that day. It is never wrong to do the right thing. Thanks, Julie!!
Holly, great story! I love this. God is so good, isn’t He!? Thank you for sharing. It’s one I’ll remember! Thanks again for hosting Testimony Tuesday! Much love.
Thanks Julie for reminding us to keep on doing the right thing even if it inconveniences us at the time. We will never regret doing the right thing but oh the regret which comes with doing the wrong thing! Let’s live with no regrets! Blessings to you!
Amen, Joanne. Let’s live with no regrets! Thanks for stopping in and for sharing. I appreciate you!
I bet that water tasted sweet. This is such a great story about how our joy comes from walking closely with God. And you are so right… as long as we are breathing, He is providing the time to do the right thing and receive His Joy… and peace. Thanks for sharing! Loved it!
Thank you, Karen. May we all continue to seek after Him, and do the right thing as we draw close to Him. So glad you stopped by. Blessings to you!
Wise words, my friend! It’s always better to do what’s right–even if it isn’t easy. That’s one lesson I really hope I’ve taught our children.
I hope I’ve taught that too, Anita. Hope all is well in your world these days! Have a blessed Friday!
That’s happenedd to me before. Even though it was a hassle to take al the kids back in I knew it was the right thing to do. Visiting from Testimony Tuesday!
Hi Sarah! Welcome! Yes, doing the right thing is always the best thing. Thanks for stopping by. I visited your place a little earlier. Love your blog home! Blessings.
Yes, Julie, doing the right thing is NEVER wrong, in my book too. Yes, I struggle with those feelings of not wanting to return or should I or ‘oh, just this once, I won’t’ and such but the peace that comes when I turn around and do those right things is worth it all…ALL!
Thanks for encouraging words today.
Caring through Christ, ~ linda
Hi Linda! Yes, doing the right thing is always worth it. Thanks for your encouragement in that today. Have a great finish to your week!
I tried to guess the ending…maybe rewarded for your honesty and the clerk telling you to forget it. But paying for it like you did created your own reward. I bet you do sleep very well at night!!!
Wish there would have been an exciting ending to my story, but yes, peace was present that evening. Thank you for stopping by and for sharing!
The phrase was by Mark Twain, a terrific author of classic literature.
Thank you! Yes, one of the best.