The lesson of the shopping cart

While visiting the local Superstore yesterday, I watched an incident that truly shocked me, yet brought me into a remembrance of a very important truth from the Word of God. Sometimes the smallest things can indeed have a profound impact on us.

I pushed my cart out to my car and as I finished putting the groceries in the trunk. I noticed a woman in a large SUV with three young children doing the same thing two spots down. When finished, I pushed my cart about 30 feet to the nearest cart storage and walked back to my car. All the while, due to it being a Saturday, there were numerous cars lined up waiting for me and the SUV to leave.

I watched in amazement as the woman in the SUV took her empty shopping cart and put it squarely in the empty parking space between us. The cart storage was perhaps 10 feet from her vehicle. She then backed out and went her way not caring that her action irritated and inconvenienced others. I could not believe this person could DO what she did with no remorse.

As if this were not bad enough, what happened next really shocked me. As I looked at the cart just sitting there in the middle of the parking spot, I thought how I should get out and push the cart to the storage thing. Instead of doing that, I backed out and went my way. It wasn’t until later that it really hit me that I had NOT done what I knew was the right thing to do and thereby was wrong also.

The lesson of the shopping cart is that there are two types of sin Jesus gave His life to redeem us from. First there is the obvious sin of commission. This was the person deliberately placing a cart in the middle of an empty parking space. The second was my sin of omission. By my not doing the right thing, I was just as guilty of sin as the person who did the wrong thing.

Sin is not limited to doing what is wrong, but also includes not doing what is right. It is the height of hypocrisy to scold someone for wrong conduct while being guilty of not doing what is right. Far too often this very thing happens among Christians. They are very quick to point an accusing finger at the person who does wrong while not doing what is right themselves.

It is so very easy to miss opportunities where we can be a blessing and manifest the goodness of God. If we are distracted, discouraged, angry or apathetic we become too lazy to care. Never forget that many times it is the little things we do right that have a far greater impact on people then yelling at them for doing wrong. By doing what is right, our action rebukes the sinner while being a witness to the goodness and righteousness of God.

K Reynolds @kreynolds ·

I really like this object lesson. It's a good one. Also, the little things do matter!

I had to chuckle at this for I thought about how often I have to deal with shopping carts that have been left behind in parking spots, had them hit my car as I was starting to pull in, etc. I thought of the times I have moved the carts of other people as well so that they would not block or hit someone else.

There is one store though, where I do not have to do that and it says something else about human nature. I frequently shop at a store where you pay a quarter to get a shopping cart and when you return the cart, the quarter is returned to you. Guess what? I have never seen unattended shopping carts in the parking lot of the store. People dutifully return their cart after they are done so they can get their quarter back. Sometimes, you are met by people in the parking lot who politely offer to hand you 25 cents so you don't have to walk all the way back with your cart and they don't have to go retrieve one.

People are doing "the right thing" but they are only doing it in order to get back what they gave in the first place. Hmm... if your quarter wasn't returned, pretty soon shopping carts would be all over the place there as well. How often do we do the "right thing" purely for selfish motives or because we are afraid we might get caught if we were to do otherwise?

I am reminded that I cannot just go through the action or inaction. My heart must be in it as well.


K :princess:

Raynard Shellow @iraqivetsgtret ·

I get tired of walking by the dumpsters in my apartment building and people sling their bags. if they miss, are too lazy to pick them up and also to lazy to open the lid and put the trash in. even when i dont wont to, whine and complain, God stills nudge me to go over and pick up trash left on the ground. Thank God for that and being a example to others when no one is looking but him lol. be blessed

Billy Beard @billyb ·

"guilty of not doing what is right". I am so thankful we have the guidance of scripture to show us what is right, and what is wrong. The Holy Spirit won't lead contrary to His word. Praise God Almighty for that. If it was left up to us to make those guidelines, it would be a total mess. What a discussion that would make, all that is and has been done as 'led', or claimed. And that is what we end up with, when we don't use the guidelines He gave us, a mess.

I experience a lot of the same as you write. Driving on the highway, another one, and work ethics. Etc, etc, and.. Enjoyed the blog and the comments. God Bless.

Sandy Brooks @poodlelady ·

Loved this blog!

So often we forget it's those little things we could do/should do that are our Biggest Witness to all around us.

Blessings Brother B2Y


Oh I just have to tell you and Blest
The Poohbear birthday card was just the best! It made me laugh when my day had been nothing to laugh about.

Alison Stewart @kiwibird ·

You know, B2Y, I think supermarkets are wonderful places for learning spiritual lessons. If only I was as particular about my actions as I am annoyed about the actions of others!


Grey Warner @day2day ·

To do or not to do...I love the analogy...very easy to remember...on the other hand, I will be hit with guilt now every time I go food shopping! I do find at times it is easy to brush off doing "considerations" because you don't think anyone knows you so it doesn't matter...but it DOES, and we are testimonies regardless. Thanks for the reminder that I am as imperfect as I think everyone else is! haha

Do not include honorifics.

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