Broke and Knowing It

Updated: Mar 16, 2020

I remember my college days and one of the early lessons that God taught me about honesty and character. It was December and I was finishing up exams, anxious to take the three hour drive home. I realized that last week of school, that I was broke and I had no gas in my car. I didn't have time to ask my parents to send me money. Hey - back then all we had was snail mail. So I decided to do something wrong, I wrote a bad check. I went to the drive thru at my bank, handed the lady a check for $10 and she cashed it without hesitation. I put gas in my car, drove back to school, finished my exams and made it home to "enjoy" Christmas.

However what I was not counting on happened. My mom checked the mail and said I had a letter. I looked at the letter and it was from my bank. I opened it to find a note from the teller that I had given the bad check to. She shared with me how she was responsible for the shortage and told me that I had cheated her and most of all myself. She said she was disappointed as I was attending a Christian school and I had given her the impression that Christian students are not to be trusted. I was devastated and even worse nothing I could do about it until after the holidays. I had to live with that guilt all Christmas long.

When I went back to school I went straight to the bank and asked for that teller. I apologized, reimbursed her for the funds and asked her forgiveness. She was gracious and shared with me that she was a believer. Long story short, she forgave me and we became friends. I never went to the bank again without talking with her. I had received grace beyond what I deserved. I can tell you it was so much more enjoyable going to the bank and seeing her than driving by and feeling guilt. Needless to say I've never written a bad check since that December day. By the way, for our younger readers who never write a check, a "bad check" is one you write and you have no funds in your account to cover it.

I share this with you to remind us all that there is only one requirement for enjoying God's grace: being broke and knowing it. God invites us, "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost" (Isaiah 55:1). Until we are willing to be broke and admit our need, we will never experience the fullness of God