This article was previously posted on Latterdaysaintwoman.com
Recently, while unloading my grocery cart, I noticed a small package that had fallen through a space in the child seat. Since all my groceries had been in that seat, I hadn’t seen it, and so I hadn’t paid for it. I checked my receipt to be sure it hadn’t simply fallen from a bag, and then went back into the store to take care of it.
The customer service person praised my honesty, but in reality, I didn’t deserve any praise. It hadn’t required a struggle with my conscience. I really gave it no thought because I wasn’t willing to sell my integrity for $1.86. It was only her comment that made me realize there probably were people who valued their integrity less than they valued two dollars. My mind went to the story of Esau, who sold his birthright for a mess of pottage, a bit of momentary worldly comfort. His birthright was worth less to him than a meal.
As I’ve contemplated this analogy, I’ve realized that I too have a birthright. I am a child of God, and therefore, I’m entitled to everything my Father in Heaven has. Each time I sin, I am setting a price on my birthright. I once knew a church member who regularly insisted God wouldn’t keep her out of Heaven over a mere cup of coffee. In reality though, it was she who was keeping herself out of heaven for a mere cup of coffee.
She had put a price on her home with God, and the price was a cup of coffee. When I look at sin that way, I am finding it harder to think that anything I want to do outside the gospel is so important I’m willing to give up my birthright for it.
My goal? To set the price of my birthright so high Satan can’t afford to pay it.
Terrie Lynn Bittner
The late Terrie Lynn Bittner—beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend—was the author of two homeschooling books and numerous articles, including several that appeared in Latter-day Saint magazines. She became a member of the Church at the age of 17 and began sharing her faith online in 1992.