The side mirror of my car on the passenger side hit the side mirror of a parked car, but I kept on driving because I didn’t think that any real damage had been done. When I got to work I looked at my mirror and saw that there were shards of glass and a scratch that made it clear to me that I had done at least minor damage to the other car’s side mirror…. I called my insurance company to notify them of the accident, but the person who dealt with me told me that there was nothing that could be done and to wait and see if anyone lodged a complaint. However, I am afraid that someone might have taken down my license plate numbers and that the authorities will come looking for me.

The truth is, I would like to pay for the damage, but I don’t know how. It seems foolish, I know, but I feel badly. I did something bad to someone else, and I don’t know how to fix it…. I need some advice.

Dear Friend,

It is never foolish to want to do the right thing! Nor is it foolish to really care about the person whose car you harmed. These are indications that your conscience is working as God intended. Don’t ever feel foolish for listening to your conscience, no matter what any other people might think!

People who think that you are foolish for wanting to do the right thing generally consider their own selfish interests to be a higher priority than what their consciences are telling them. Some of them even stop noticing that their conscience is speaking to them because they are so determined to get what they want. They may even begin to believe that right and wrong are just ideas that some religious zealot invented, and that the Ten Commandments are really “the ten suggestions.”

God gave us our consciences to help us recognize that we have sinned or are about to sin. But the Apostle Paul wrote about people whose consciences have been “seared as with a hot iron.”(1) This is a word picture of how their consciences can no longer feel anything because all the sensitivity has been burned away. When that happens, they begin to believe that any action can be justified. And if they believe there is no sin, then they will not recognize their need of a Savior.

You called the insurance company and notified them of the accident. Be sure to keep the name of the person whom you talked to at the insurance company so that, in case the authorities do track you down, you can prove that you tried to do something about it. There is probably no reason to worry about any official consequences because you have that proof. Obviously, you have learned the lesson that the next time you run into something, you should stop and check it out before proceeding.

We wish you the best,

1 1Ti 4:2