Taking responsibility for one’s actions is something I highly value. It was reinforced by my Dad on a regular basis. I have worked to instill doing the right thing in my children.
Recently, an unknown driver struck my vehicle in a partaking lot and left without leaving any information or attempting to contact me. Needless to say this left me angry and a $500 deductible poorer. I wondered about this person’s conscience. Do they feel guilty? Are they worried they were caught on a parking lot camera? Did they not have any insurance? I could go on.
Here’s how seriously I take this. When my boys were young, we had just gone through the checkout and were on the way to the parking lot. I looked down and realized that I had a bag of potatoes under the cart that I hadn’t paid for, so I stopped at customer service to pay for them. The person behind the register asked my why I chose to stop and pay for them when I could have just walked out the door. My answer was simple. I pointed at my boys and said I needed to set an example of how to do the right thing.
18 Yes. Obediently listen to God, your God. Keep all his commands that I am giving you today. Do the right thing in the eyes of God, your God. (Deuteronomy 13:18 MSG).
Doing the right thing is often hard. Self protection seems much easier, however the guilt that comes with it is insidious. It doesn’t go away. It lives on long after the incident is over. God invites us to do the right thing because it protects our hearts. It is how we experience peace. The pain and consequences from taking responsibility is often short lived. Guilt never dies. It continues to seep into relationships in all the wrong ways. I will take the short term pain for long term peace.
How about you? Do you value doing the right thing? Do you see God’s direction as protection for your heart? Share your experience here and breathe life and bring hope to others.