Stop! Thief!


The blessings from obedience are always abundant. Trust and don’t doubt or fear, for God's teachings and His love are more precious than silver or gold.

“The Instruction you’ve given to me is better than thousands of pieces of gold and silver!” Psalm 119:72 (CEB)

I hate to admit it, but I was a bank thief. Yup. I walked into the bank and robbed the teller assisting me.

Perhaps I should explain.

I went to the bank to cash three small checks. One held only my husband’s name on it. Even though it had been two years since my husband’s death, his name was still on our account. It didn’t occur to me the bank teller wouldn’t accept this check; it was only for $12.30!

Unfortunately, the bank teller and I didn’t see the check-cashing transaction in the same way. She spoke about the bank’s policy, while I spoke of the absurdity in it. I didn't say anything inappropriate, but my attitude sure was.

On the short drive home, I tried to justify my reaction in a prayer. By the time I entered my home however, I felt a conviction to return to the bank and apologize.

Do I have to? I begged the Lord. Please, I don’t want to go back. It’s not like I said anything wrong. Besides, she’ll never miss my apology.

The Lord lovingly revealed to my heart what my attitude had done. Instead of bringing her the Lord’s goodwill and gentleness, I "held her up" with my disregard and discontent. I stole her calm assurance and robbed her of the peace in doing her job well.

And while I was at it, I stole from those who worked with her. My actions robbed all of them of God’s intended blessings for what my life is supposed to be towards others. I even robbed myself of the blessing that comes from being kind.

So … I grabbed my keys and headed for the bank. Thankfully, something wonderful happened after my apology. The teller’s first response was the look of sweet delight followed by a big smile. I saw blessed relief in her. I felt relief, too.

I discovered in that moment how my actions had indeed caused her to feel troubled. She shared how she spoke to her manager asking for advice on how to respond, knowing this was a difficult circumstance. Then she quickly gave way from how she had felt and expressed concern for me. She wanted to know if I was OK. She even thanked me for caring enough about her feelings to return.

You know, as I left the bank, I think I heard Jesus’ joyful laugh as He said to my heart: “These blessings from obedience are always abundant, Kathy. Trust and don’t doubt or fear, for My teachings and My love are more precious than silver or gold.”

Some lessons can be pretty costly. Thankfully, this one was worth much more than anything $12.30 could ever buy.

Lord, You have taught me to value others’ feelings while trusting You to take care of my own. Yet, sometimes, I get lost inside my own emotional needs and expect others to deposit the understanding and love that only You can provide. Faithfully, Your presence and love gives rest and peace to my most troubled thoughts. May I always treasure Your teachings above all else. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

2 Timothy 1:13-14, “What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you — guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.” (NIV)

What do you treasure most? Do you believe that Jesus’ teachings are worth more than silver and gold? Why?

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