No Free Bowling

“Thou shalt not steal.”

Exodus 20:15

Our family is matched with a “little” as part of Big Brothers Big Sisters and we recently took him out to lunch to celebrate his birthday that took him from a minor to an adult. We have know him for 11 years now and have seen him grow into a nice young man. His questions are deeper than they used to be when he was younger, and we enjoy his company. We were waiting for our food to come when he began to ask us some moral and ethical questions. He started off with some complex questions and asked if we thought it was okay to steal from someone who had a lot, such as a department store, if you did not have as much or if you were hungry. It seems logical that this would seem to be okay since one is “starving” and the other is more than getting by. He was not necessarily asking because he was thinking of doing this, but he just had questions about the morality of it all. It made sense to him that the one who was wealthy would have plenty to give and would not miss anything if items or money were taken from them. It made sense to him until we posed the question to him in a different way.

We asked him if he would be okay if someone who had less than him took something from him. He did not take long to respond, and he smiled and said, of course not. He said he would not want somebody taking from him no matter how much he had, and Rebekah pointed out to him the verse from Luke 6:31 which states, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” I have been guilty of stealing in various ways, and I have reaped what I have sown as others have stolen from me. I am not proud of this fact, and I would not want to be known as a thief or a cheat as I know it is sin and goes against one of the Ten Commandments that God gave Moses. I was taught not to steal and I knew it was wrong. I had a good friend in high school who paid dearly for not heeding to what he was taught and not adhering to this command God gave.

A group of friends, including my good friend, went bowling after school and they had been planning this for a week or so. I was bummed because my mom did not allow me to go with them because she knew the shenanigans I would be getting into with them. My friends did not feel bad for me for not being able to go but laughed at me that my mom said no. My friends were not wealthy by any means, and I wondered how they would even pay for the bowling. We had a hard enough time scraping the coins together to pitch in for two gallons of gas, so I asked my friend how they planned to pay for this bowling activity. He told me they were going to play several games and when more people showed up to play, they would simply skip out the side door. They planned to leave the shoes and leave the bowling alley holding the bag. I was not a great kid, but even I had morals about stealing, and I shook my head at this plan and told my friend I hoped they did not get caught.

My friends went to the bowling alley after school and carried out their plan to perfection. They played several games and ordered drinks and food and then slipped out the side door. My friends were several miles from the bowling alley when my good friend realized he had left his brand new leather bomber jacket at the bowling alley. His dad had given him this beautiful jacket a month prior for Christmas, but he took it off because he got warm while he was bowling. My friends went back to the bowling alley to see if they could sneak in and get the jacket back, but the jacket was not where they had left it. The police were there as well and my friends were not sure if they were there for a different reason or for them sneaking out. They decided not to find out while they were there, and my good friend gave up his expensive jacket for a couple of games of bowling, cheap food, and carbonated drinks. His dad asked him what happened to his jacket and he lied and said he lost it, and he had to feel the wrath from his dad. I was not one to say, “I told you so”, but I was glad my mom did not allow me to go. Stealing is never ok, and God is not pleased when we take something that is not ours.

How are you doing in this department? Are you guilty of stealing? Maybe you aren’t taking items or money, but maybe you are stealing company time. Maybe you spend the time you are paid to work on social media or surfing the internet. Maybe you are not honest on your taxes or you try to con the person at the grocery and department store. Do you look to take advantage of others? Do you look for ways to steal and try to justify your actions? May we remember this commandment, and may we not steal and take that which is not ours.

Stay in the Fight!

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