A few weeks ago I went to the bread store near our house to pick up quite a few items for breakfast, since our son and family were going to eat with us. I grabbed a little basket from the stack. Inside the second basket underneath the one I picked up was a wad of bills. I saw a R$50 and a R$20 among others. There may have been as much as R$200, although I didn’t bother to count.
The wife of the store owner was at the register. I explained what I found and tried to give her the bills. She said since I found it, it was mine. I told her it wasn’t mine, and that somebody might come looking for it. So I insisted she take it. One lady witnessing our conversation congratulated me.
I picked up the items I’d gone for, paid for them, and left. I forgot about it.
Today, I went back to the bread store, since we’re babysitting the two grandkids while their parents are traveling. The store was empty, so after paying for my items, I asked the cashier if anybody had come in looking for it.
“Oh, yes,” she said, “the owner’s wife had wanted to tell you that a customer came back looking for her money. She was relieved to find it had been turned in.”
I felt gratified that my little deed had blessed someone.
While I was in the store waiting to make my order with the girl behind the counter, ahead of me an older gentleman asked for three pãozinhos, the small tasty French loaves that Brazilians typically eat for breakfast. In what was apparently a customary gesture of his, he pointed at the glass warmer that held the cheese bread. The girl picked up one and handed it to him. (It’s not unusual for a store to offer a sample to a customer so the latter can check the quality and freshness of the item.)
The gentleman popped the cheese bread in his mouth and walked off toward the register. He’d had no intention of buying any. He was, like so many others, abusing the sample offer.
The Bible condemns greed and stealing. The world takes advantage of others. The Christian deals honestly and does not take what is not his. He is righteous. It’s just what he does, because he belongs to the Lord. No merit, no brag, just the character produced by the Lord’s blood and the Spirit’s transformation.
“How blessed are those who promote justice, and do what is right all the time!” Psa 106.3