Temptation can come in many forms. The other night, my son and I went to a local thrift store because we heard they were having a “50% off” sale on fur and leather coats. I found a bag that I really wanted but it had no tag on it. I looked on the floor, hoping I would find the tag but none was found. I thought about taking a tag from one of the other bags—I looked at all the prices and found one that was $1.99. I told myself that any money the store gets would be profit since all of their merchandise was donated.
After seriously contemplating about it, I decided not to take the tag off the other bag, and then I tried to hide the bag I wanted so that no one else could get it. I was thinking that I can come back when they were having a “half-off” sale on bags—of course that didn’t solve the issue of the bag not having a tag. Once I walked away for a little bit, I decided that the best thing to do was to bring the bag to the counter and have them reprocess it so it can have a tag—my thinking was, after it was reprocessed and I see it again, then I was meant to buy it.
I went up to the counter and asked, “How much are your bags?” (I was hoping they had a set price for “ordinary” bags). He said that the price should be on the bag. I then explained that this one had no price tag. He examined it for a few seconds and said, “How about $4?” (I had noticed that most of the bags were $4). I was stunned—the policy of the store had always been that they would not sell merchandise without a tag. I replied, “That’s fine.”
What I learned from that experience is that I just need to do the right thing no matter what the situation. I should never do anything unethical, even for something as small as a used bag. Also, I learned that God will make positive things happen when you resist temptation.
Yes, I wanted the bag and even though I would have technically paid a price for it (by ripping off another bag’s tag), I should never resort to doing any “underhanded” tactics to get something (it’s a bag today but what will it be in the future?). James 1:14-15 says, “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death” (NLT). Bottom line– “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7b).