Wednesday, November 15, 2017

"What Would You Do?"

Ezekiel 13.14 NAS

“So I shall tear down the wall which you plastered over with whitewash and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation is laid bare; and when it falls, you will be consumed in its midst. And you will know that I am the Lord.”

I offered to do some simple yard work at my friend’s vacant house for sale. I parked in her drive-way and exited the car. Looking down I saw in the grass a folded piece of green paper with the face of Benjamin Franklin. I reached down and picked it up the cash. “This is my lucky day!,” I thought. “God has blessed me with a gift of $100!” I couldn’t wait to go home and tell my wife about my once-in-a-lifetime good fortune.

Driving from my friend’s home, I began to think this was not my money. Maybe this $100 was not a gift from God, but rather a test from God. A test of my integrity. It obviously belonged to someone who was presumably searching for their lost cash. But how could I find the rightful owner? My friend did not live in this empty house so it was not likely her’s. The bill probably blew in with the wind from who-knows-where. But clearly, I could not keep the money without performing at least a minimum level of due diligence to locate its owner.

I decided to call all recent showing Realtors® and ask them if they (or their buyers) had “lost anything of value” while previewing this vacant home. If a buyer’s agent accurately described the loss, I would turn the money over without question. That scenario was easy.

Additionally, I would contact the owner of the home (my friend). This was a little more delicate. If I was cryptic and required her to describe the loss she may have recently suffered, then it would appear as though I did not trust her. Since I did trust my friend, I decided t0 come right out with it. I planned to inquire, “Did you lose $100?” to which she would respond “Yes” or “No.” If my friend said “Yes,” then no problem. I would simply turn the money over to her. If she said “No,” or more likely “No, why do you ask?,” then I imagined a new ethical dilemma... should the $100 go to the owner of the property on which the money was found (my friend) or the lucky and blessed finder of the cash (me)?” What would you do?

I discovered something foundational about my personal belief system. I learned there were three things I really wanted to keep…

 -------1. $100
           2. my friend
           3. my integrity

It became obvious that I could not keep all three. I could possibly keep any two of the above, but not all three. The decision was made. I would keep my friend and my integrity. If she had not lost the money, I decided to give her the cash regardless, because I found it on her property. I would give my friend $100 not because I could not justify keeping it, but because I did not want to risk violating my integrity or losing her friendship. This was not an entirely easy decision for me. I truly wanted to keep the cash. I guess I wanted my friend and peace of mind more.

I called J_________ and inquired, “Did you lose $100?” “Yes,” she blurted. “I’ve been looking all over for it. I folded it carefully and thought I put it in my pocket. I’ve checked all my pockets and everywhere in my house. Where did you find it?”

I became a hero. I saved my friendship and my integrity. It only cost me $100 (which wasn’t mine to begin with).

Back to Ezekiel 13... When the “wall” of my existence, defined by a lifetime of decisions, comes to an end and all my personal “whitewash” rubs off and the ‘plaster’ of my frail body crumbles to dust and when I “fall to the ground” and my “foundation is laid bare” before Jesus, what will He see?


CharlieTD said...

Good for you Dave, I hope she was appropriately grateful.

There is another lesson here.
Don’t carry cash.
- it’s way to easy to buy something you don’t need
- it can be forcibly stolen from you
- it’s full of germs
- it can be lost

Nearly all vendors accept plastic.
Even paper checks are risky.
Use electronic checks...


Dave's Bible Blog said...

I sort of agree with you about carrying cash, except when I need to make a small quick purchase and the vendor doesn't make enough profit to warrant the use of plastic.

And yes, my friend was VERY appreciative of getting her $100. I was very happy to be of service in this way. God blessed more than $100 worth!