by John Gaines
Lynita Regis of Bellevue, WA, is a struggling single mother who could have used a little extra cash to pay her rent and take care of other family necessities.
A few days ago, Ms. Regis checked her checking account balance at an ATM in Bellevue and learned that her bank said she had over $270,000 in the account. She admits to fantasizing about what she could have done with that much money, but she reported the error to the bank branch manager.
Her comments make a wonderful statement about this lady’s sense of priorities. “It’s a struggle, we’re human but a child of God and gotta do the right thing even though I have nothing,” Ms. Regis said.
Then she asked the kind of question all Christians ought to ask as they evaluate their behavior: “At the end of the day, are you gonna sell your soul for $271,366.01?”
It is easy to miss the point if you think, “Well, she wouldn’t have gotten away with it anyway. The bank would have discovered the error in time and she would have had to give all that money back.”
That might very well be true, but the lesson is that this woman thought it through and considered the cost to her soul of keeping money that didn’t belong to her.
Jesus asked, “What will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). Lynita Regis considered the question and decided that her soul was worth more than a little over a quarter-million dollars. Good for her! She did the right thing.
Chances are, you and I will never find that kind of bonanza in our bank accounts, but we will face questions about whether to do what’s right or take some short-term benefit.
Pay your rent or save your soul? It is really no question at all to any clear-thinking person. Do the right thing and trust God to care for your needs.
John Gaines lives in Burlington, Washington and is is the preacher for the Skagit Valley Church of Christ