Having just helped her mother bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies, Laura was eager to taste the cookies for herself and reached out to grab a few.
“Not yet,” her mother told her, “I don’t want you to spoil your dinner.”
Like most young kids, Laura wasn’t happy and begged, but her mom stayed firm. A short while later, Laura walked back into the kitchen. Her mom was outside in the garden. Laura thought to herself, ‘She’ll never know if I eat one.’
As Laura tried to hurry down the last few bites, her mom walked in. Seeing the crumbs on the counter and a little bit of chocolate on Laura’s face, she asked, “Laura, did you take a cookie after I told you not to?”
“No,” came the mumbled response.
Many times, we act like Laura. We take something that isn’t ours and claim no one will know about it. We find a wallet with a little bit of cash, and instead of searching for the rightful owner, we decide the person has already counted it as a loss. We do something in direct disobedience, but yet when we get caught, we won’t admit it. We knowingly speed, but when we get pulled over, we claim we didn’t know the speed limit, or we were just going with traffic.
This verse deals with untruthfulness in several aspects of our lives. First, “ye shall not steal” deals with the improper acquisition of goods. Although most people would agree that stealing is wrong, many people have no qualms about it – especially if it is something small. Secondly, “neither deal falsely” deals with deceit in our business practices. Many people think that anything goes in business. It doesn’t matter how bad you mislead people because everything is fair game. Lastly, “neither lie one to another” deals with dishonesty in our manner of speaking. Often, lies are dismissed as being “little white lies” or “a bending of the truth”, but these mistruths are sin. Lying has become so commonplace that many times it is hard to take people at their word.
Don’t allow your life to be marred by falsehood. Determine to be truthful today.
Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder