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.
at 10:11 PM