I remember once when I was 6 I took a pack of chips from the supermarket and hid it in my jacket. As I left the store and took it out of concealment I was confronted by the astonished face of my mom. After her firm correction she sent me to face the guard and publicly apologize for my crime. I will never forget the shame and guilt I felt but the lesson was learned. My mom explained to me “there are no big or small robberies, theft is theft.” Recently I had to travel from Santiago Chile to Mexico City. Next to me was a group of four friends, men and women in their mid-twenties. When it came time for in-flight service I watched how one young man stretched his hand out while the attendant helped another and lefted a can of soda from the cart. Was this stealing? He was taking something that hadn’t been offered him yet. Something he could have waited for and would be given to him, even multiple times, if he simply asked for it. Instead of scolding his behaviour his friends laughed and were entertained by this brazen criminal act. Many of us saw the sneaky deed, Chileans, Mexicans and Canadians but we didn’t say anything…was it for fear of disrupting an otherwise peaceful night or simply because we understood the innate rebelliousness of human behaviour couldn’t be countered with one comment. So the celebration of the offense continues and the small time cheat becomes a leader who easily breaches the codes of conduct. I know, many will say ′′why so serious… it was just a can of soda, there are those who steal millions and nobody tells them anything.” I don’t have the ability to refute that statement but to add “theft is theft.” Whether you are guilty of taking a hotel robe, pirating a movie or banking profits that were honourably earned, it is not hidden from God’s eyes. The Message paraphrase of James 4 puts it this way: You want what isn’t yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it.You wouldn’t think of just asking God for it, would you? If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. What God gives in love is far better than anything else you’ll find. It’s common knowledge that “God is against the proud; but gives more grace to the humble.”
So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life.
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