In January 2014, three students purchased a lumpy couch from a Salvation Army Store in New Paltz, N.Y. The sofa was serviceable but made funny crinkling sounds as they sat on it. Finally, after a couple of months, they decided to investigate. The kids opened two of the side pillows, and concealed within, they found two or three bubble-wrapped envelopes. Their eyes went wide, and they began shouting so loud the neighbors thought the kids had won the lottery. They found over $40,000 in stacks of hundred-dollar bills inside those envelopes! They started dreaming of cars, boats, and what that money would buy.

However, the excitement was short-lived when they found one envelope with a woman’s name on it.

“The entitlement very quickly went away with finding that notice with her name on it. Because we didn’t earn that money,” Guasti said.

With the help of Werkhoven’s mother, the group was able to find the woman the money belonged to. They called her and returned the cash.

“I’m like ‘I found something that I think is yours,’ and she’s like ‘what?!’ and I’m like ‘I found a couch,’ and then she’s like ‘oh my God, I left a lot of money in that couch,’” said Werkhoven.

The friends said the elderly woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, told them she had stashed the money in the couch for years and that family members who didn’t know had mistakenly donated the couch.

“This was her life savings, and she actually said something really beautiful like, ‘this is my husband looking down on me, and this was supposed to happen,’” Guasti said. [1]

How many people would do the right thing and return the old woman’s money? It is one thing to be good when everyone is watching, but the test of our faithfulness is how we behave in secret. The Apostle Paul “applies the term ‘eye-slavery’ to service that is not sincerely rendered but functions only for sake of appearance” [2] in Ephesians 6:6 (ophthalmo-doulia, ὀφθαλμοδουλία).

Don’t be an eye-slave, be a Christian all the time!

Click here to see the complete Daily Bible Reading Plan for 2022

[1] https://www.cbsnews.com/newyork/news/roommates-find-thousands-in-cash-hidden-in-couch-return-money-to-rightful-owner/  downloaded 3/40/22

[2] Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, W., & Gingrich, F. W. (2000). In A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 744). University of Chicago Press.

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