Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ignorance is Bliss...Or Is It?

Proverbs 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.

I may be stepping on some toes here, but I am only writing this after experiencing some bruised toes of my own. Each of us who knows Christ as our Savior has the responsibility to live a life of consistent integrity before those who do not know the Lord. Hopefully we all understand that integrity includes honesty, and hopefully none of us would purposefully do anything outright dishonest. However, something that I have thought a lot about lately is how important it is to "go the extra mile" and do everything in my power to make sure I am being completely honest in the use of coupons. That "extra mile" involves my not being ignorant regarding the fine print on the coupons that I use.

I was alerted by a cashier recently that I was inadvertently using a coupon improperly. I was purchasing two items, and I wanted to use a cents-off coupon for one item and a B1G1 coupon for the other. The cashier pointed out that the B1G1 coupon said in the fine print, "Coupons cannot be combined." That statement of course means that I cannot use a cents-off coupon along with the B1G1 coupon. Not all B1G1 coupons have that restriction, but that particular one did. I believe it is my responsibility to read the fine print and use the coupon the way the manufacturer requires it to be used. You may be wondering why I believe that is my responsibility. You may come up with all kinds of excuses why it is not my responsibility ("It scans, so that's the manufacturer's problem. If the cashier doesn't notice, that's her problem.") However, as a Christian I do believe it is my responsibility to read the fine print for the following reasons:

1. Just because I didn't read something, doesn't mean it's not there. I had the opportunity to read it, and if I didn't read it, I am still responsible for what it says. If I do not follow the stipulations of a coupon, I am a thief, whether I read the stipulations or not.

2. If I unknowingly tried to use a coupon in a way other than intended, and the cashier happened to notice the fine print, what might her thoughts be? Quite possibly, she might think that I just didn't notice the fine print, and that I wasn't purposely doing anything wrong. But it is also very possible that she may think I am a dishonest customer. If I gained that reputation in her mind, and then tried to share the gospel with her, do you think she would be very receptive to what I had to say? Of course not.

Therefore, I believe that as a Christian it is my responsibility to do my utmost do uphold a "good name". I am trying to remember to always check the fine print on the coupons that I use. If a printable coupon states "one per customer", guess how many times I'm going to use it? One. If a B1G1 coupon says it cannot be combined, guess what? I won't be combining it. If a $/$$ coupon states that it must be used after other coupons and discounts, guess when I'll be giving it to the cashier? After other coupons and discounts have been applied.

Please understand that I am not claiming to be perfect. There have been times when I have forgotten to check the wording on a coupon, and have discovered after the fact that I had used it in a way other than intended. At those times I have to ask God's forgiveness and ask Him to help me remember next time so that I may protect my name as a Christian. Ignorance is not bliss if it causes my "good name" to be traded for a good deal. The "good name" is worth much more than the money.

How has the Lord been working in your heart? I'd love to hear about it, so go ahead and link up or leave a comment sharing what you've been learning from God's Word.


  1. Great post...I also try to only use the coupons as they were intended. Of course, I am not perfect, and I've either forgotten to read or inadvertently purchased the incorrect item. I try to correct it when I can, though. Good reminder, though :-).

  2. Great post. I appreciate your honesty. I too try to abide by the coupon rules. I am sure that I have at times violated them inadvertently but I really do try. Thanks for keep us all on our toes.

    By the way, I hope you will visit my blog. I am hosting a giveaway right now.

  3. Loved your post! A couple of my friends and I have been having some similiar discussions and since we know that it is God who will bless our efforts when we are trying to walk uprightly before him and since he is our provider we can trust him to more than give us an increase above those extra dollars here and there off. Thanks for being an encouragement!

  4. Oh, sweet words of wisdom from the Lord! Early this year when I started couponing, I tried to sneak a coupon through for a different flavor or size. It nearly ate me alive. I know that was the Holy Spirit's beautiful conviction of my wrong. I've made plenty of coupon mistakes, but I'm so glad for Godly encouragement like yours today to remind me just how important a "good name" continues to be.

    Last week, an older lady at one of stores I frequent (and one of my favorite cashiers) seemed a little out of sorts. She told me she was waiting 10 more minutes until she could leave for the night and get to her son's family's side, where they'd just experienced another miscarriage loss. We completed the transaction in mutual mourning, and I asked if I could pray with her right then. She nearly jumped over the counter and clutched my head and shoulders and hands. She held onto every word the Holy Spirit directed me to say. He ministered to her that night, and I'm so glad He ushered me to that store. I usually don't go out after dark alone. Praise God that He was able to use a coupon relationship for both of our good and His glory!

    Then a couple of days later at another store, a young girl (again, one of my favorite cashiers) broke down and began to weep about her wayward boyfriend. She lost her dad at a young age and is clinging to a very dangerous and disfunctional relationship. I went outside with her and we talked about how Jesus is the only answer to her problems (and her boyfriend's). I asked if she attended church, and she said she works every Sunday. I asked if she was off on Tuesday mornings to attend a Bible study with me. She attends school then, but I told her I'd be praying that next semester's schedule would be free on Tuesday mornings. :)

    Again, thank you for reminding me that "ignorance is not bliss!" Bliss is righteousness in His watchful and loving eyes...

  5. Very well said. Thanks for making a strong stand for integrity and righteousness.


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