Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

This topic has bothered me for years; the notion of God blessing one person by taking from another. And before you say anything, I realize there is a passage of Scripture which says the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just, and I believe it is true. What has always gotten to me though is how people work the system, or beg a believer to help them out instead of trusting God to provide for their own needs.

I was perusing social media last night and came across a post about purchasing some clothes and using a coupon. Now I didn’t see the coupon and don’t know if it was a limit 1 or not, so I could be off base, but as I read the post and saw several registers were visited in order to use one of the coupons at each and receive the discount multiple times I couldn’t help but think it sounded dishonest. If it was, is your integrity worth $30 in savings?

I owned a retail shoe store for many years so I have a unique perspective when it comes to giving and getting discounts. I was asked so many times for one I have maybe a jaded attitude when it comes to people trying to save money on a purchase by getting me to give them a deal.

I remember once giving a $50 coupon to a young lady for purchasing a pair of shoes. The family arrived to use the coupon and the young lady found a pair she loved. With the coupon they were going to cost her about $10; a great deal. Her father stayed outside in front of the store the entire time and when she went to get money from him, he handed her a $5 off any $50 purchase coupon he had found in a phone book and told her to ask me if I would honor it.

I took the high road and gave them the discount because I felt horrible for this girl being forced by her dad to ask for more of a discount. He didn’t even have the balls to ask me himself, instead making her humiliate herself. The look of shame on her face was horrible and I felt so bad for her. I’ve got more to say about this, but I won’t.

It’s not that I don’t like getting a discount, I do. But when people would ask me for one; especially Christian brothers and sisters I would say, “Why don’t you believe God for the full price of the shoes and when He blesses you with the money, then you can buy the shoes from me at full price. He blesses you, you bless me and everyone is happy and God gets the praise. But when I mentioned this, they would look at me like a cow looks at a new gate.

Don’t get me wrong, getting discounts are great, I like them too. But how are you going about getting them? Are you working the system, in order to save a few bucks, then praising God for helping you save money? I’m pretty sure God doesn’t take from one person or business in order to save you money.

It’s the Little Things

Fire raced across the living room floor where only moments before, John had led his children and wife to the front door and safety.  The fire was quickly moving through the house, turning to ash everything it touched in its journey.  It was 2am and even though it was cold outside, the heat from the house fire was keeping him warm as he watched the smoke curl upwards towards the night sky.  John was thankful he’d been able to get his family out in time.

Fire can destroy a home in a matter of minutes, taking away the place you live.  And while this type of disaster is horrible, there is one even more insidious which brings about the same results; although it usually takes years to accomplish.  

The little critters known as termites eat away at the wood in your home, and while these tiny little insects may seem insignificant to you because of their size, if left unchecked they will bring your house down around you.

The big things which happen in your life are noticeable because they’re right there in your face, but it’s the little things which can actually do more damage.  This is because it happens over a period of time and you don’t notice the changes as they’re happening.  It may take years before you actually see what they have done.

One thing you can do to prevent this type of devastation is to take preventative measures.  If you’ll step up and do things to check on the status of your house periodically, you can, like Barney Fife said in “The Andy Griffith Show” nip it in the bud.

Just like these little things can destroy your home, the same can be said for your marriage.  Many married men find out too late that their wife no longer has any interest in them and possibly has even taken the kids and left.  They scratch their heads and wonder where it all went wrong.

It’s because they didn’t take any preventative measures to assure their relationship was doing well.  Over time they allowed little things to come in and eat away at their relationship.  Not big things mind you, but little things here and there like ignoring the trash, leaving their underwear on the floor, only talking to her about paying the bills or ignoring her feelings about various things.  The list goes on and on.

If we’re not careful men, married life can end up like a business.  And neither one of you got married so you could be in a business venture.  Just as the little things can erode your relationship, doing little things for each other can strengthen it too.  Remembering her birthday or your anniversary without her having to remind you, bringing home her favorite candy or flowers for no apparent reason or making sure the trash is taken care of, all of these things can go a long way to making her feel loved.

After all isn’t this what we all want in our marriages, to be loved?  If you’ll focus on her needs, taking the appropriate measures to do the little things which tell her you love her every day, it’ll be just like taking preventative measures to make sure you don’t have any of those pesky little insects devouring your home from the inside.

Now you know what I think, tell me what you think.