Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops. – Luke 12:3
My grocery store – note the possessive pronoun – is like my own Cheers bar. The employees all know me and welcome me with a smile. They know me: I’m that woman who always asks to pray for them and who talks about Jesus. Sometimes they’ll practically knock each other over to serve me.
That wasn’t exactly my experience this weekend.
I was ready to check out, and the only open lanes I immediately spotted were busy. I then spotted another open lane, but the cashier and male bagger were pretending to adjust the aisle display as they openly flirted.
“Excuse me, are you open?” I nicely asked.
The girl not-so-nicely mumbled a “yeah” and took her place behind the register. I seldom buy processed foods but had bought two frozen gluten-free meals on sale for those days when I don’t have leftovers for lunch.
“Did my frozen meals ring up correctly?” I asked.
“You can look for yourself on the screen in front of you,” the cashier replied impatiently.
“They’re not showing up on this section of screen, which is why I’m asking.” I bristled at her attitude.
“Well, then, you can check your receipt when I’m done ringing up your order, and you can take it to customer service if they don’t ring up right.”
I knew she was able to look right then and ensure they were marked at the right price. She just didn’t want to check.
After ringing up my order, she checked the receipt herself, prepared to send me to customer service if it was wrong. It wasn’t.
The young man working with her took my groceries to my car, and I was able to show the kindness of Jesus to him. As for the girl, I prayed.
Later that day I told my son, who has a good friend who served as a customer service representative of the same chain, about the cashier. “Mom, you have to talk to the manager about her,” he insisted.
“But I like to be an encourager. I like to be the one who talks to the manager about positive behavior so the workers get perks. If I narc on her, her heart will harden, and I’ll never get to talk to her about Jesus,” I explained.
“You can’t let her treat customers like that. You have to complain.”
I had pushed aside the urge to call and complain for a couple of days. Then as I returned to the store a few days later, I prayed, “Lord, if You want me to talk to the manager for this girl’s own good, please have me run into him as I enter the store.”
So there he was, smack-dab in my face as I walked in.
I explained as nicely and gently as I could, commending him on his excellent associates and explaining my reticence and how God answered my prayer. “I don’t usually have complaints about her, but I’m going to use this opportunity to mentor her some more,” the manager said, thanking me.
I walked away relieved. God was in this. He would use this to help her grow into the woman He created her to be. He would use me not as an agent of harm in her life but of good.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. – Romans 8:28
Someone dear to me is struggling now as his own misdeeds are surfacing. He is repentant and struggling to find peace as his life and the lives of those most precious to him could be affected by his sin.
God assures us our secret sins will not remain secret forever. He also assures us of His love, His mercy and His sovereignty. All things work together for good. This is a promise.
Praise God our hope is in His righteousness, not in our own. Praise God He – and not the sum of our sin – is the inheritance for those of us who trust in Him.
If you are caught up in secret sin, I urge you to repent now. Confess your sin before God, and confess it before the people you have sinned against. Do not fear the consequences. Fear God. But trust His heart, and call upon His endless stream of mercy.
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in mercy. – Psalm 103:8