Genesis 43:12 Take double the money with you. Carry back with you the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks. Perhaps it was an oversight.
Jacob sends his sons back to Egypt, including his beloved Benjamin. Jacob’s heart is full of dread. Having already lost his favorite son, Joseph, in the desert he is careful not to lose his youngest and kept him close to home until now. After discovering money in their sacks not belonging to them, Jacob makes the honorable decision to return the money plus more in hopes his action will demonstrate integrity and save face in the light of perhaps someone else’s error. Not knowing the outcome, but trusting God. He sends them on their way.
This morning I woke up in a panic. I realized I had made a serious mistake at work. The due diligence I should have used in completing a task was replaced with a “get it done and out the door” attitude. Now, I must decide what to do. Well, I have to be honest; for a split moment I thought to say nothing and hope my oversight would go unnoticed. But the Holy Spirit got the better of me! I was reminded of Jacob’s example: How would it have turned out for Jacob and his family if his sons did not return with Benjamin as commanded? If the money had not been returned? Would they try to survive the famine by buying their grain elsewhere? But where else would they go? They would have missed the reunion with their long lost brother, Joseph! I also wondered if for a split second if Jacob considered NOT practicing integrity? It matters not. Jacob acted prudently; even if he was fearful. He set out to make right which was wrong, even if the error was not his doing. His example encourages me to do the same – and in my example the responsibility for the error is completely my own. Without knowing the outcome, I must face my superiors and let them know what has happened.
As Christians, we are faced with tiny little moral decisions. Mistakes happen as they often do because we are fallible. Even if we do our very best NOT to fail, there are times when our best laid plans still fall short. When the error is made known publicly, we should feel a greater sense of responsibility to act with uprightness. When they are NOT known to others, we must do the same; even if we are tempted not to. We are held to a higher degree of accountability; not to men, but to God who gave us everything we need to live for Him. Heed the prompting of the Holy Spirit and do what is right, even if we suffer for it. It is better than being counted among those who do not do the right thing. After all, where is our witness as Jesus’ disciples in that place?
1 Peter 3:17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.