I have a confession to make. I stole Wes’s Mexican Coke. And I lied about it.
A little backstory, for those of you who are wondering what in the world I’m talking about. Wes and I discovered something truly wonderful in Pasadena when we moved here a year and a half ago. Mexican Cokes. We had been fortunate enough to have them before, of course, but we’d never lived in a place where they were literally on the shelves of every grocery store. I’m not sure what makes them superior to regular Cokes, but we enjoy nothing better after a long run than a Mexican Coke.
We bought a couple of bottles a while back. I drank mine after a run while Wes chose to save his for another day. In my defense, that was DAYS ago, and I figured (or at least, partially convinced myself) that he’d decided he didn’t want it after all.
Actually, I didn’t figure that at all or convince myself of it either. I just wanted his Coke, and when I saw that he had fallen asleep on the couch, I drank it.
Done and done.
Until he went to find it later, saw that it was gone, and asked, “I’m sure there’s a logical explanation for this… but where’s my Coke?!”
I looked at him and LIED, y’all. “I didn’t know it was yours!”
He looked at me, smiled, and said, “Really?”
I took a moment, then said, “Okay, so I knew it was yours! Wes, I drank your Coke!”
Alas, my conscience caught up with my thirst, and I apologized, again and again. Wes didn’t seem all that bothered by it, honestly, but I was plenty mortified that I had taken the drink to begin with then had LIED to him about it. I mean, he’s the kind of guy who would’ve just given it to me or, at the very least, split it with me if I had told him I wanted it. But instead, I just took it and lied about it. As if the first had not been reason enough to be embarrassed, I had taken it a step farther. Oh, the humiliation, even as Wes fought a smile and managed to say, “Oh, don’t worry. I forgive you.” (Said with dramatic flair, of course, to show just how noble he was being by forgiving this offense.)
Perhaps, though, I’m a bit dramatic myself because I thought this was an excellent teachable moment for the girls. They thought it was hilarious that I drank Wes’s Coke at first, then were shocked when they heard that I had lied to him about it. Wes asked them what he should do given the situation, and Ana answered with, “I don’t know. Mommy did a BAD thing,” and Emma, God bless her, answered with, “You should just go buy another Coke.” (For real, y’all. If he’d done this to begin with, he would have removed my temptation to sin against him!) He told them that the right answer was to forgive, just like they should forgive others, just like God forgives them.
All this said, it was a great opportunity to teach our girls about how one sin can escalate into many, how God’s Spirit in us convicts us of sin (and, oh, I was convicted at numerous points in all of this), how we can turn from our sin at any point, and how we should forgive one another. I concluded this teachable moment by telling the girls that I will probably be tempted to steal another Coke from Wes one day, but that I’ll remember how doing so hurt him and ultimately how my dishonesty hurt God. Not that I stand strong enough on my own to resist even the lure of Coke (seriously), but I’m putting my faith in Jesus, who is able to even help me withstand this temptation.
Praise God for grace…. and for a husband who said, after all was said and done, that “if our biggest issue is a Mexican Coke, then we’re doing okay.” You bet.
(And we’ll be even more okay if he just keeps the fridge stocked.)