"An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips." (Prov. 24:26 NIV)
It always pays to be honest.
Even when you wouldn't have been caught anyway.
Especially at Christmastime.
Recently our female golden retriever paid a special visit to a male dog owned by a local golden retriever breeder, and as is generally the case with cause and effect relationships, 9½ weeks later she proudly popped out 9 puppies in 3 hours. Job well done!
The next day however, she started having contractions again, and this time her straining produced nothing but distress. I rushed her to the vet. She had another puppy inside, a stillborn whose head was bent back in such a way that it had gotten stuck in the birth canal. An emergency c-section was necessary, and I was required to pay out $850.00 before the mother dog could return home to her 9 healthy pups.
As an animal breeder, I realistically know not to expect to make any profit from a litter of puppies; but I do hope to at least break even. With the additional vet bill, I knew I wouldn't even be able to do that. Then I had an idea: I had 9 healthy puppies . . . Why not ask an extra $100 per pup? I knew that the market would support the higher price, because I generally price my puppies on the low end of what the local market will pay. The extra money would completely cover my unexpected vet bill and it would be a win-win situation all around!
Only one problem.
The stud fee.
At the time of my girl's little "visit" to the breeder, I had been required to pay the price I was planning on asking for one puppy. Had the breeder known I would ask an extra $100.00 per pup, I would have had to give her an extra $100.00. Though I knew that she would never know the difference, the only fair thing would be for me to send her another $100.00, and I wrote her a check and dropped it in the mail.
God was good. We had no problems finding excellent, loving homes for the puppies. No one blinked at the price, my vet bill was covered, and I didn't hear anything from the breeder. End of story.
Or so I thought.
Around the same time that we were finding homes for the puppies, tragedy struck in the home of a total stranger who lived 100 km away. A husband and father lost his job, and with Christmas looming on their doorsteps, the distraught wife was faced with needing to return the Christmas gifts she had purchased for her children. Imagine her happiness when a total stranger handed her $100.00 and wished her Merry Christmas.
I wouldn't hear this story until July of the following year. In preparation for our summer vacation, I had just left my dog at the breeder's boarding facility, and as I was turning to get into my car, she called after me: "By the way, Lyn! I just wanted to tell you that what goes around comes around!"
Intrigued, I turned back.
"I wanted to thank you for your honesty," she continued. "I wouldn't have ever known the difference if you hadn't sent me the extra 100$!"
She then proceeded to tell me the above story, and excitement tingled up my spine as she confessed that she had been the benevolent stranger who had saved a family's Christmas with the extra money I had sent her for the stud fee.
Had I kept that money, this lady's family wouldn't have had a Christmas!
Friends, when we do what is right, people are blessed! We usually don't ever know how our kind deeds and honest acts will touch others, but there is one thing we can be sure of: They always do!
Is there something God is calling you to be honest about right now? If so, go for it! You never know when that honest act might save a Christmas. Or even a life!
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