Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Here is what happened today. I went to Paradise Bakery (a great eating establishment) to get lunch for myself and a variety of treats for my team members. I ordered a fruit bowl, two salads, a blueberry muffin, double chocolate brownie and a large iced tea. Once I got back to the office and handed out the orders I reviewed the receipt. I noted that I did not get charged for the brownie.

I could not let this pass. Call it conscience, my upbringing, or a desire to live out my relationship with God in an authentic manner; regardless I needed to go back and pay them their money.

On my way home I stopped in at Paradise. I still had the receipt. I walked in and said to the young lady behind the counter, "I was in here earlier today and order one of those brownies." For emphasis I pointed at the stack of brownies displayed in their case. "I need to pay for it."

She, along with two other co-workers, looked at me as if I had just told them, "I had to hurry as my space ship was doubled parked."

Sensing their seemingly inability to translate my words into an understandable language, I reinerated my intent to pay for the now devoured brownie. Breaking from their 'deer in the headlights stare' they informed me they would not take my money.

"It was our error, so you don't have to pay."

"You don't want my money?"

"No, but thank you for your honesty."

That was it! They didn't take my money, but they were amazed at my honesty. I turned and walked out with a smile on my face and a bit of mixed emotion in my spirit.

My mixed emotion was a feeling I should have given a bit more credit to Jesus for my honesty. I was not just being a good person, although I feel I am. But my goodness, at least for me, I think, is a result of my relationship with God. I did not know how to communicate this to them. I mean what do you say? "I did this because Jesus lives in my life."

Frankly that would seem a bit contrived and inauthentic. But what do you think? What would you have done?

1 comment:

Jim Voigt said...

Just to turn the tables a bit, my wife worked for a company that would require her to call customers when the business would forget to charge them for certain products. In all the busyness something usually got left off the receipt. She hated this part of her job because people were often outraged that the business actually had the nerve to call and ask for money later since it was their mistake it wasn't added in the first place. The expectation is not to be charged if the business made the mistake, but of course the customer would want to be reimbursed if they were overcharged. I think to recognize fault and make up for the fault is honesty; where as to not recognize a fault, get called on it and to make up for it is integrity. Both are spiritual attributes for people of faith.