Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

3.27.2009

Check With Your Rearview Mirror and Your Conscience before Proceeding

I had no time to think; I just had time to skid to a stop in the truck I was driving, not even taking a second to check the rearview mirror. Moments after my foot connected with the brake, I heard brakes squealing and tires skidding, but the sound wasn’t coming from my automobile. All of this commotion came from the diesel truck behind me, a man in a hurry who was apparently following too closely. The entire situation unnerved me, but, realizing that I hadn’t felt any impact, I decided to continue on my way. As soon as I parked, however, I checked the back of the truck and was relieved to find no marks. This wasn’t my car, you see; I was on my way to feed a friend’s animals while he was out of town, and it was his truck I was driving.
So you can imagine my alarm when, a few days later, Lauren and I arrived home late at night and the headlights of our van caught the back of the truck. “Oh! There’s a dent in Mr. U’s truck, huh?” Lauren asked. I looked in horror—and then looked again. My mind immediately went back to the sudden stop…the squealing brakes…the near miss…only now I wondered, “Was I actually hit?” I spent the next few days debating about what to do. On the one hand, I didn’t feel any impact; I did check the back; and Mr. U probably wouldn’t notice. On the other hand, why was this bothering me if there was no reason to worry? Moreover, if no damage had occurred at that moment seared into my memory, the dent would still be my fault, because that would mean it had happened after the incident, and thus under my watch. Finally, if I took care of this now, I would find out authoritatively whose fault the dents were. Eventually, I knew, my conscience would get to me, and I would confess; wouldn’t it be easier to just do it now rather than wait, say, ten years? What if I found, after enduring the torment of a damaged conscience for several years, that none of this had been my fault anyways? With all of these good reasons to admit my mistake, however, I am ashamed to say that I hesitated. Why was it not an automatic action for me to disclose any possible damage I may have caused to this man’s property? The answer to that is, unfortunately, very easy: I have a sin nature as large as the next person, and Satan fought a hard battle to get me to follow that nature. However, God has instilled a new nature in me, and in I Corinthians 10:13 He promises, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
God won the battle in my soul, and Satan was defeated. I showed Dad the marks, and he agreed that he didn’t recall seeing the damage when Mr. U showed us the truck before he left. Dad also said that it would cost around $1000 to fix it. Determinedly, I included the details in my summary letter to Mr. U, but I heard nothing from him for two days. As Dad said, “it seems that if it really wasn’t your fault, he would have called the same day to reassure you.” However, yesterday, I checked my cell voicemail, and discovered a message from Mr. U. He said, “You were worried about the dent in the truck, but unfortunately, it’s been there for over a year.”
You can’t imagine how I was praising God at that moment! I was fully prepared to pay the $1000, but He saw fit to bless me, and provide me with yet another incentive to trust Him instantly next time by practicing integrity and honesty. When faced with situations like this, I would encourage all of you to try something I have found helpful. Ask yourself, “What is the worst that could happen if I confess this? What am I afraid of?” The Devil doesn’t want you to think reasonably or sensibly in matters like this, because if you do, you’ll realize, “the worst that could happen would be paying $1000” or “the worst that could happen would be the humiliation I will experience.” Most often, one will not even lose anyone’s respect by confessing; in fact, courageously taking responsibility for one’s actions often brings more respect. So that was my spiritual battle of the week. What was yours? Have you won it yet?
Oh, by the way—always check the rearview mirror before you brake; it sure saves a lot of trouble.

4 comments:

  1. Mikaela,
    Thanks for sharing about this recent "battle." A good reminder to always do the right thing and sooner rather than later.
    Some of my biggest struggles have been in this area of cleaning up my "dirty" conscience. Yet, as I have chosen honesty and obedience, I have found that God has honored me with freedom and forgiveness. I still struggle in this area, but God has over and over again proven Himself faithful as I trust and obey.
    Thanks again!

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  2. Isn't it amazing how this is a constant struggle? You would think that I, after experiencing the incredible feeling of a clear conscience, wouldn't think twice about keeping it that way.

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  3. I know I've thought along the same lines...why am I struggling with this again when last time God worked everything out and I felt so good about doing what I needed to?
    I was faced with this challenge this evening! I was working on a project and broke a blade on one of my dad's saws and believe it or not, I struggled with whether I should tell him right away. I did tell him as soon as I saw him again and he was very gracious (and I was relieved). : )

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  4. Thanks for sharing Ruthie! It really is encouraging to know that I'm not the only one who struggles with this. And "good for you" for taking care of it right away. ;-)

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