Somehow, someway, her chance came. Doesn't it always come? The Bible says, No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. Her temptation came and she succumbed. The pink bubble-gum flavored candy stick - the one with the blue stripes - went into her pocket.
But when would she enjoy her prize? She would need to work out just as many details in order to eat it. The temptation comes easily enough, but with it comes MORE temptations. Only these temptations are different. It seems they cannot be avoided. Now she MUST lie. Now she MUST hide and deceive - deceive not only her mother, but now her sister and brother too. If she didn't, she would get caught.
She hid the prize in her desk. Sometimes she would sneak into her room and lift up her desk to feel under the papers. Yep, it was still there. The smooth, hard bubble gum stick. Oh, she could just taste it. If only she had some free time where she could get away to enjoy it. Occasionally, she would want to tell her sister...but would her sister share her joy or turn her in? Sometimes she would smile thinking of her brother asking for a lick and giving him one...but would they enjoy it knowing it was stolen? The item in her desk consumed her thoughts.
A few days later, I came in to help clean her room. Everything needed to be spotless and in order. Overnight guests would be arriving soon. "Here, let's put this in your desk," I said.
I walked towards the desk with the little book. "NO MOM!" the child shouted. "I have special cards in there for Noah, uh, and uh, I don't want him to see them."
It was too late, the lid was lifted. I was curious. "What special notes, my love?" I lifted the papers to reveal the stolen candy stick.
Heavy sighs from mother and daughter.
I could have just let this go. After all, the candy came from our own shop...and she hadn't eaten it yet...and it's just a little bit of candy...But no. This is where the rubber meets the road. "be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless." 2Pet 3:14
Character is built brick by brick. We didn't let it go. We knocked out a few bricks and boards and laid in some new ones. No matter what we have to do today...it is more important who we are.
I had the same temptation just yesterday. I printed some pictures at Walmart. When I got to the checkstand, I looked at my black and white photos and noticeed they were very BLUE. Oh, how disappointed I was. $13.00 for THESE? Yuck. Well, I unloaded my purchases. The unpaid photos I held behind my notebook. Wow, the pictures were the same size as my notebook. Hm? If I just held them there, I could walk out of the store without paying for them. No one would know. Hey, it's not like I would enjoy the pictures anyway. I couldn't add them to my Christmas cards like I hoped. Sure, there were three or four that I liked, but the line was long and those pictures only amounted to a dollar at most. Yep, she tallied me up and I kept the pictures behind my notebook. I put my bags in the cart and off I went...
BACK to the photo department. I waited in line, gave my ugly black and whites back and paid the $1.85 for the pictures I did like.
No, I didn't steal the pictures...but I almost did.
Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD. Jeremiah 23:24
And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding. Job 28:28