When I was twelve we moved off the farm to a town of 5,000 people,, and I had more freedom than I’d ever had before. Soon I met two girls my age and we began to hang out together. I am not proud to say that we were not a good influence to each other–including baiting one another to shoplift. I knew better, but I took a candy bar at the drug store, and after eating it later felt like a piece of dirt. Later, I wondered what God thought of us three girls who went to Sunday School together and had forgotten about the commandment, “Though shall not steal.”
Fortunately for me, I never got caught shoplifting. My parents would have reminded me forever that I had made a big mistake to think I needed something badly enough to take it without paying for it. God took care of my punishment by haunting me then and even now when I do something I am ashamed of.
I no longer do teenage petty crime. However, every day I have the opportunity to follow the crowd rather than to speak up to what is wrong, and I have failed to encourage others to seek a new way to get what they want. God challenges us to check our behavior and change our ways.
Lord, thank you giving us opportunities to do what is right. Amen.