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Today’s Truth

If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

James 4:17

Friend to Friend

Sometimes doing the right thing is hard. Case in point…

My husband asked if I could run to pick up his dry cleaning while he was on a conference call for work. Sure. So I drove across town, paid, grabbed what they gave me, and then headed home.

“Are my suit pants cleaned too?” Brad asked when I brought the dry cleaning in the house.

“I’m sure they are, honey. I remember seeing them in the bag when I dropped them off.”

I checked. No suit pants.

“There are only shirts here, Brad, but I do remember there being a dark pair of pants in there last week when you gave me the bag!”

“I definitely had pants in there,” he replied. “Can you please call the dry cleaners and find out where they are?”

Sure.

“Hello, mister dry cleaner man. When I dropped my husband’s clothes off last Wednesday there was a pair of suit pants in the bag. I just picked up his laundry a little bit ago and the pants are not with his order. Can you please check on those?”

“Mrs. Smith, our records show that we took in 18 shirts, but no pants. I’m sorry.” He said matter-of-factly.

“Sir,” I responded as my pulse began to rise, “My husband and I both remember there being a pair of his suit pants in the bag when I dropped it off on Wednesday. There must be a mistake and we need to figure this out. Are there any pants around your store that are unaccounted for? The missing suit pants are navy with a thin blue pinstripe.”

“Ma’am,” he began with an abrasive, defensive edge, “we don’t have pants just ‘lying around.’ We only took in 18 shirts. Beyond that, I don’t know what to tell you. People think they drop things off all the time, but we very rarely ever lose anything.”

Really?

I was more than agitated at this point. “Well, sir, what I know is this: my husband and I both remember his suit pants being in the bag that I dropped off to you last Wednesday. He can’t wear a suit without pants. This is pretty important. Can you please take my number and call us if and when you find them?”

“Yep. I have your number.” Then he finished with this smug gem, “I don’t expect them to show up, but will call you if they do.”

“Great. Thanks.” Click.

I was in a tizzy. Brad and I began to discuss the fact that we both knew his pants were in the bag… and then a thought came to my mind … which took me to the garage. And there, on the floor behind my drivers seat were his navy, pinstriped suit pants. Still dirty and blending in with the dark floor carpet of my car. Ugh! I walked back in the house and updated Brad.

“Do you think you should call and let the dry cleaner know that you found them?” He asked.

Inside I knew I should, but didn’t want to.

“No. I don’t want to. I don’t like him.” I replied childishly.

Almost instantly the Word of God convicted me. “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” (James 4:17)

Doggone it. I have to call him back.

I reluctantly dialed the number again.

“Hello! Dry cleaning company, how can I help you?”

“Hi. We talked a few minutes ago about my husband’s suit pants, and I am calling back to let you know that I found them in the back floor of my car. They must’ve fallen out of the bag. I’m sorry.”

His voice softened. “Well, thanks for calling back. Most people wouldn’t do that. I appreciate it. Have a good day.”

My brow was still furrowed when I hung up. No halo hovered above my head and my grumpy ‘tude still had a grip on me. Taking that step of obedience meant swallowing my pride and I didn’t like it. I didn’t want to do it. But I know it was required in response to my love for Christ.

Why is it sometimes hard for me to do the right thing?

Why is it hard to WANT to do the right thing sometimes?

I ponder the questions, yet know the answer: because on my own, I’m stubborn and self-seeking. Thankfully, by grace God’s Spirit works within to lead, correct, and guide.

Obedience to God is a battle that can only be won by surrendering. It’s a constant battle: my will versus God’s will. Jesus said that if we love Him, we will obey Him. (John 14:15, 21,23) Even when and if we don’t want to.

Where does this find you today? Is there anything that you know you should do, but haven’t done?

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Thank you for loving me even when I’m less than lovable. Please lead me in Your ways, refine my stubborn heart, and help me do the good You call me to do.

In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Read John 14. This is a conversation Jesus had with His disciples on the night He was betrayed. Jesus made many bold statements here. Which verses stood out to you today? What is your personal takeaway or challenge? Post your response or a prayer on my blog wall where we meet to encourage and pray for each other regularly.

More from the Girlfriends

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6 Responses to “Do I Really Have To?”

  1. Marijean says:

    I was lying in bed, couldn’t sleep, and thinking about something that I need to do, but I don’t do. I finally got up and decided to do my devotion. God sent this message to me this morning. He is so good to lift us up and let us always know that He is here in the moment with us. Thank you for this message.

  2. Petry says:

    Good morning. Perfect timing! God has a way of reiterating a point and pushing us towards His will and that’s exactly what He did for me through your devotional this morning. There is an apology I need to extend today and there is no doubt that God wants me to do it, though my pride would say otherwise. Thank you Holy Spirit. Thank you Gwen for sharing.

  3. Joy says:

    This was soo good! I have to (reluctantly) apologize often.😐
    Great reminder!!

  4. Rein says:

    Oh God, you really has ways to remind us of what You have called us for. Thank you Lord for exposing what i have done thru this message. I ask for your forgiveness and i pray that you meet and bless the person i have wronged (the driver). In Jesus name, amen!

  5. georgia says:

    I must say that we all need to let our pride go and pray to be humble. Thank you so much for this …it hits home.

  6. Aisha says:

    This put a few things n perspective because God has been working on me to keep me in line. I had to do an inventory as well.

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