The other day I was buying something at a convenience store that came to a total of $1.69. The only cash I had on me was a $10 bill, which I used to pay for my snacks. But when the cashier counted out the change to me, he inadvertently gave me change for $20.00. After he finished putting the money in my hand, I said, “This is change for a $20; I paid with a $10.”
He looked at me, smiled and said, “Oh, an honest man.”
We thanked each other, and I left the store.
As I walked to my pickup I felt proud of myself, then I quickly thought, “That’s what you’re supposed to do; that’s what you always do and it’s nothing to be proud of. So stop it!” (Yeah, I need to work on more positive self-talk.)
But I think my self-talk was wrong. And I think yours might be also.
Here’s what I mean…
As Christians we are called to “image” Christ – to act in ways that are representative of the character of Christ.
And Christ was noted for his honesty. Even those who were trying to discredit Jesus had to admit that he was honest. Matthew 22:15-17 says, “Then the Pharisees met together to plot how to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested. They sent some of their disciples, along with the supporters of Herod, to meet with him. ‘Teacher,’ they said, ‘we know how honest you are. You teach the way of God truthfully. You are impartial and don’t play favorites. Now tell us what you think about this: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?'”
The Pharisees were trying to set a trap for Jesus by using Jesus’ reputation for honesty against him. Their whole plan rested on the indisputable fact that Jesus was honest.
So when I, as a Christian, am honest, I am faithfully “imaging” Christ, who was honest.
But there’s more.
When I am honest in the “little” things, I am proving myself capable of being a faithful witness of Christ in the “bigger” things and on the “bigger” stages. In Luke 16:10 Jesus says, “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.”
That’s why my moment in the convenience store was a holy moment.
And that’s why your “little” moments are also holy moments – our faith is proven most genuine by what we do in the ordinary occasions and our integrity is kept intact by what we do in the seemingly inconsequential incidents. What we think of as mundane has the potential to be among the best opportunities to be ambassadors for Christ.
So, give yourself a pat on the back the next time you tell the truth when you’re tempted to lie or when you choose to lift someone up with your words instead of tear them down. Be proud of yourself when you show kindness to the person everyone else is ignoring or when you share the credit at work with the rest of your team.
In those moments, you are demonstrating the character of Christ.
You are choosing to be holy because He is holy (1 Peter 1:16).
Way to go!