What would you do if you saw someone find something under a grocery cart in the parking lot? What would you say to them? Would you encourage them to turn it in? Would you tell them it was theirs because someone had already paid for it?
What would you do if you found something under a grocery cart? Would you take it back into the store? Would you leave it? Would you keep it?
When I put my grocery cart up, I found some soda under another cart. I had just put my groceries in a hot van that was sitting in the hot sun on a hot day. Needless to say, I was in a hurry to get them home. Nevertheless, I headed with the found soda back to the store.
Doing the right thing should be a “no brainer.” However, someone actually told me that I should keep it since I found it, and the soda had obviously already been paid for. I reminded them that I had not been the one to pay for it. It was not mine.
I have lived in a community where I knew that if I left something in the yard for a few minutes that it would be gone. I always felt like I must lock everything up every minute. I could not even go into the house for a sip of water without fearing my bike would be taken. I had to guard everything all the time. There was no room for error. It’s a horrible way to live.
What code do you live by? Do you love your neighbor? Or, do you love your neighbor’s stuff? I have heard stories over the years of folks – teenagers in some cases – taking things that did not belong to them and not even considering it stealing because of the circumstances. The rule is this – and it should be obvious – if you did not pay for it, it’s not yours.
Although wrong, there is a bigger picture here than the one case of one person taking something that is not theirs. It is the impact of the witness of that person that it is okay to steal, or the impact of a person that is going around encouraging other people to do wrong like the individual that I encountered on my way back to the store with the soda.
What are you sowing into the lives of others?
If you do something wrong or encourage others to do wrong, you make a difference in a very negative way. If you brag about all the wrong things that you used to do, you may encourage someone to live down to that level.
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
Today’s challenge is to encourage others to do the right thing, and to do the right thing yourself. You may never know the impact you are having on the life of another. You will reap what you sow. Take the time – even if it is not convenient – to help someone.