Help your kids see why they shouldn't do something wrong just because it's easy.
Bible Reading: Leviticus 19:11-13.
Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not deceive one another (Leviticus 19:11, NIV).
Stacy walked home from her piano lesson with her friend Anna. The day was hot, and they were both thirsty. As they passed the corner gas station, Anna gazed at the soft-drink machine at the side of the station.
“I sure wish I had some money,” she said. “A can of soda sure would taste good right now.”
Stacy dug into her pocket and found enough change to buy one can. “Look, we can share a can of soda.”
Anna’s face brightened for a moment, but she shook her head. “No, that’s OK. Thanks anyway, though.”
“Are you sure?” Stacy asked.
Stacy inserted her coins, and a can thunked noisily out of the machine. As she grabbed the ice-cold can, she heard the sound of coins dropping into the change slot.
“Look, Anna!” she cried as she held the can in one hand and fished the money out of the change slot. “We have enough to buy you a can, too!”
Anna eyed the coins in her friend’s hand, and the cold can of soda in her other hand. After a moment of hesitation, she shook her head. “No,” she said. “That money doesn’t belong to us.”
“What do you mean ‘it doesn’t belong to us’?” Stacy asked.
“That money belongs to the company you bought the soda from. Keeping that money would be stealing.”
“But nobody’s going to know,” Stacy said. “What’s the big deal?” “We’d know,” Anna said. “Should we do something wrong just because it’s easy?” Stacy thought for a few moments. She looked from the can in one hand to the change in the other hand. “So what are we supposed to do?”
Anna looked around and saw an employee at a cash register inside the gas station. “We’ll give it to him,” she said.
Stacy hesitated. She looked as if she were going to say no to her friend. Finally, she said, “OK, but only on one condition.” “What’s that?” Anna asked.
“Only if you agree to share this can of soda with me.” The two girls smiled at each other and walked into the gas station.
TO DISCUSS: Why did Anna think that keeping the money was wrong? How would you have acted if you were Stacy? How would you have acted if you were Anna?
TO PRAY: “Lord, guard us from acting in ways that would dishonor you.”