I Got Caught!
I Got Caught!
At the age of 49, I got my first ticket – a speeding ticket. I must be honest in saying that this was not the first time I sped, it was just the first time I got caught! I greeted the officer with my license and registration and he returned with a nice little piece of paper with my fine printed on it. I had an hour and a half left on my journey before I got home and had to tell my husband. Many thoughts went through my head. I was mad at myself because this was completely avoidable. I was angry because I had to use hard earned money to pay the ticket - money that could have been used for golf, date night, or tickets to a concert or a race. I knew my husband would be a little upset. However, he has had a couple of tickets in his time and I was quite ready to remind him of that if I needed to! As it turned out, I didn’t need to use my ammunition. He was not happy, but nothing could be done about it, so we paid the fine and moved on.
Let’s go back and think about the first part of my story. How many times in life have we done things that are wrong, but we didn’t worry about it because we didn’t get caught? Have you ever sped? Have you texted while driving when it’s illegal? Have you ever gossiped and hurt someone because of it? Have you ever broken a promise?
None of us are perfect. All of us have struggled. How do we respond when we know we are doing wrong? Do we keep doing it as long as we can get away with it? Until we get caught? Or do we stop doing it, knowing that it is wrong? Our response shows our level of integrity. I love the quote from C.S Lewis, “Integrity is doing the right thing. Even when no one is watching.”
Sometimes doing the right thing is hard. It could result in dissolving a relationship with a toxic person, giving up a habit, changing your focus in life, changing jobs, or not doing something you wanted to do. Psalm 119:1 says, “Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the LORD” (NLT). Scripture tells us exactly what happens when we do what is right. We are joyful. Who doesn’t want to be joyful? Even though you may have to make some tough decisions at times, being joyful is the result.
In 1 Samuel, we find the story of Samuel, who was the last leader of Israel before they appointed their first king. He served as a prophet, a judge, a teacher, a scribe, a priest and a mediator. He tried very hard to convince the people of Israel that they did not need an earthly king. They were being led by the King of Kings. Much to his disappointment, he lost the argument and anointed the first king of Israel. In his farewell speech found in 1 Samuel 12, he asks the people of Israel if he was ever wrong or dishonored any of the people. If so, he wanted to make it right before the group and God. The people said Samuel never did wrong or dishonored anyone in the group. This action showed great his integrity and humility. He wanted to ensure that his journey as the leader of Israel finished well and was above reproach.
Take a few moments and reflect on where you are in life. Do you need to take some lessons from Samuel? Are you joyful? Almost joyful? Working toward being joyful? Wherever you are, keep working and praying. Remember, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV)
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