Self-respect is the fruit of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself. Abraham Joshua Heschel
Hanging perfectly positioned to catch my eye as I entered the store was a lovely summer dress. My intention, however, was not to find a dress for myself, but to find something to spend my $15.00 bonus coupons on before their expiration date. That was today. I had even planned my auto service appointment around it.
|Street scene reflections obscure the view of a dress in the window.|
The qualifications for the use of this little bonus were either something needed for the household, or a gift for someone else. I was in the blessed position of not needing any clothes and as my husband had so objectively stated, the great-grand darling didn’t need any either. But $15 should not go to waste, I reasoned.
I walked by the dress and scanned the other departments, arriving at the toddler section with Christmas in mind. Finding a pretty appliqued top and printed leggings two sizes larger than her current size would work. My total expenditure would be a mere $6.99 after the coupons. I would be satisfied with that.
Nevertheless, the dress hung there tempting me at 30% off. I could certainly live without it, but the additional $15 off made it even more reasonable. If I felt I'd made a mistake, I could return it for a refund. That's what the grace of God is about. So, it went with me to the register along with the toddler outfit.
I’d only spent $48.98, but I wasn’t happy. I hadn’t wanted to spend any money on anything I didn’t need, especially this summer, when my income had dropped so dramatically.
In the dealership lounge I had a chance to check through my email and found a code for an additional 25% off at the same store. That would bring the total price of both items down to $32.99. Still, I felt uneasy. If I took both items back, would I lose my $15 bonus altogether?
“Once it’s gone, it’s gone,” the cashier said of the bonus coupons; they could not be applied to another purchase. Furthermore, I could not have used the additional 25% off in combination with them.
Unable to accept that as the final answer yet, I decided to return my purchases to the store near home and settled the matter with the Lord on the way. By now, both items had lost their value to me. Indeed, they would both go back. Neither I nor the little one lacked anything, except peace. “Thank you for loving me so. Thank you for disciplining me,” I whispered from a heart of contentment.
It would have been nice to have a “do-over,” but I knew He was abundantly capable of providing that and ever so much more. The $15 did not go to waste after all. It was a bargain price for peace.
Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. Job 5:17 NIV
All discipline seems for the moment painful, not joyful; yet afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been exercised thereby. Hebrews 12:11 NHB
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV
But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. I Timothy 6:6-8 NAS
An excerpt from
While it Is Called Today
A 30-day Photo Devotional
by Dee Marvin Emeigh