If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them (James 4:17 NIV)
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 the items I’d brought home. 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?”
“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.”
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 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 driver’s seat were his navy, pinstriped suit pants. Still dirty and blending in with the dark 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’m calling back to let you know that I found them on 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 is a constant battle: my will versus God’s will. It’s a battle that can only be won by surrendering. 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.
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
Where does this find you today? Is there anything that you know you should do, but haven’t done?
Let’s pray together today. Meet us in the comments section to share your heart and pray for one another.
More From the Girlfriends
Today’s post is an excerpt from Gwen Smith’s book, I Want It ALL. Ready to narrow the gap between ordinary faith and the not-so-ordinary promises of God found in His Word?
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It is not always easy to do the right thing. Lord help me to honour you by doing the right thing especially when I feel torn. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Wow, I can relate to that, Gwen! How long did it take til your ‘tude left you? I hate to find out I was wrong about something, but yes, I agree that you did the right thing. Ther are things that happened years ago that still come back to me, but instead of being angry I feel ashamed that I let my temper get the best of me. I really have to train myself like a dog to have the mind of Christ in matters. I love GIG! You always have very ‘relatable’ experiences. Thank you for being so candid with us.
Where to begin?
After years of abuse…
I struggle with alcohol, shopping and lying
The first 2
I can control
The 3rd is done and out of mouth before I can even ” think” about what l am doing!
I have just started with a Christian Councelor and we’ve decided to meet weekly. But
I need prayer
And lots of it!
I need HOPE
Am I so unlovable that people in my life abuse me..
And know I need direction
Because of the season
I need Joy
That us my greatest prayer
For my heart to experience Joy
Thank you so much for this! God used this devotional this morning to help me to apologize for something I did a long time ago—an offense that recently came to mind and was bothering me. I feel so much better and am thankful for God’s timing.
Elaine, No, you are not unlovable! I don’t even know you but I can tell that you have a tender heart and seek to be loved. Our dear Savior loves you so much! Being abused is never about the victim; it’s always about the abuser. Hurt people hurt people. Your abuser was hurt at some point in life and feels some control by abusing you. It has nothing to do with your value. Jesus died on the cross for you. If that doesn’t prove your worth, I don’t know what does. Trust in Him and seek Him with everything inside of you. You will find a tender Father who loves you. Once you believe that, you won’t need to lie anymore. You will be strengthened in who you are and WHOSE you are. I will pray for you, dear sister!