While shaking down my cell, a corrections officer found my water-bug beneath my sink. (That’s a device my roommate and I use to make hot water for our coffee in the mornings.)
When the officer asked who it belonged to, I admitted it was mine. He took it with him to the officer’s station. I wondered if he was going to write me up for having it.
My roommate couldn’t understand why I didn’t lie. “You could have told him it belonged to the inmate who lived here before you, that you didn’t know it was there.”
I told him about the verse I had read in my Bible that morning: “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy” (Proverbs 12:22 NIV).
Later, the officer returned and gave the water-bug back to me. Both my roommate and I were surprised. “The reason I’m giving it back to you,” the officer said, “is because you didn’t lie. I can’t stand a liar.”
Neither can God, I thought as he left.
“I guess the proverb was right,” my roommate said.
“The Bible is always right,” I said. “That’s why I read it every day. It has valuable wisdom to face whatever comes that day or in the future.”
My roommate was intrigued, and I realized how important it is to keep my words and actions lined up with the Bible.
The situation reminded me of a Bible story about a prison guard who came to believe in God because of the prisoners’ actions. Paul and Silas, who were Jesus’s followers, had been stripped, beaten, and put into prison. Chained, they spent the evening praying and singing praises to God while the other prisoners listened.
Then, about midnight, an earthquake struck so violently that it loosed their chains and shook the prison doors off their hinges (Acts 16:23–26). The jailer woke up and came running to the prison, assuming that the prisoners had fled.
He was about to take his own life to preempt what would’ve been his punishment for the prisoners’ escape. But Paul stopped him, shouting, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” (Acts 16:28).
The jailer was so moved by their choice to stay in prison that he became curious about the God they worshipped and asked, “What must I do to be saved?”
Have you ever considered that the choices we make reveal what we believe and value? When we choose to do right instead of wrong, our actions can prompt someone to wonder about God and seek Him.
The morning after that incident with the water-bug, my roommate woke up early. I noticed him watching me read my Bible, and I asked him if he’d like to know what that day’s proverb said. He nodded his head, and I read to him what happened to be my favorite verse in the book of Proverbs: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (3:5).
“I like that one,” he said.
“Me too. Do you know what it means to ‘lean not on your own understanding’?”
“It means you shouldn’t just trust yourself or your own ideas. Check to see what God says first before you move. Don’t be wise in your own eyes. Seek wise counsel. Take everything to the Lord in prayer.”
Like the prison guard in Paul and Silas’s situation, my roommate wanted to know more about my God and His ways. And that morning, I had the privilege to lead him to the Lord. Every morning after that, we’d get up early and study God’s Word together.
When faced with an opportunity to do things God’s way—the right way—do it. If you hold yourself out to be a Christian, remember that people are examining your life. Put God’s Word into practice, and your life will draw others to the Lord.