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Honesty is the best policy - James C. Bell

Friday a week ago, while my wife was out shopping, I worked late in the yard trying to get ready for the long Labor Day holiday.

I had just come into the house and sat down to rest a few minutes when the phone rang. I thought this must be my wife calling to tell me she was on the way home.

As I picked up the phone, I heard an unfamiliar voice ask if she could speak to Mrs. Bell. I said, "I'm sorry but she isn't home just now." The Lady said, "Are you Mr. Bell?" I answered, "yes," and she said, "We have just pulled into the parking lot at Wal-Mart and found a ladies pocketbook in a shopping cart -- it's Mrs. Bell's, and we want to return it to her."

I said, "That's very nice of you! Thank you very much!" I knew how many credit cards my wife had in her purse and how bad it would be for them to get into the hands of the wrong person. I said, "I'll call her and see if she could meet you at some convenient place"

Then I realized her cell phone would be in her purse! The kind lady said, "Where do you live -- we will bring it to you." I said, "No, that would be too much trouble for you, maybe we could meet somewhere closer for you."

I heard her husband say, "They live in Jonesboro. Tell him we will meet him at the QT on Highway 54 at Tara Blvd." I said, "I can be there in fifteen minutes."

I had just pulled in front of the store when I saw them drive up. He was holding the purse up so I could see it, and know who they were. They were so pleased to return the purse to me. I thanked them again, and asked if I could give them something for their trouble as I took a twenty-dollar bill from my wallet.

They were very excited and said, "No! This is our blessing, and if we took your money, it would spoil it! I was so impressed by their honesty and the fact they were being obedient to the Lord, and felt they would be blessed. They said, "Please pray for us." I said I would.

My wife arrived home just after I did and was so worried about losing her pocket book. I quickly told her I had her purse and told her all that had happened.

Honesty is certainly a Christian virtue, and shows loyalty to the Lord's teachings, and builds integrity and character for those who practice it. I prayed, "Dear Lord, I ask you to bless this fine couple as they live for you."

The Bible says in Psalms 37:4: "Delight your self in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."

There are different ways to be honest. We can be honest about material things and honest in our relations with others, but there is another way to be honest and that is with ourselves -- particularly in our relationship with God.

Some people are careless about this all-important fact of life and are not honest with themselves. They know there is a God and they should believe in Him. They foolishly think: "I will live my life the way I want and later I will put my trust in Him."

Who among us knows if he will have a tomorrow, or a week, or a month, or a year?

Be honest with yourself and get in relationship with God through belief, faith and trust in Jesus Christ. God gives all of us a choice to either believe in Him or to ignore Him. However, anyone who chooses to ignore God is taking a big chance of spending eternity in torment, rather than in a fruitful life in this world, and having the joy of being in Heaven with all the saints.

Here is a worthy thought to help guide your life: "To your own self be true."

Your choice of being honest in life and trusting in God will never lead you down the wrong road. God will help you make the right decisions in life.

I pray you will choose wisely.