By Greg Johnson
You and Mom decide to go to Target to do a little shopping. When you get there, you ask if you can just head for the toy section, where she can catch up with you later. She says that will be fine, so off you go.
Looking through toy sections at stores has always been one of your favorite parts about shopping. You know that when Mom shows up, you’ll have about a half-dozen things you’ll just have to get. She’ll look at all of them very patiently while you make your case, but then she’ll say, “Don’t you have a birthday coming up?” or “Christmas is just around the corner, we’d better wait on buying new stuff.” You’ll act disappointed or mad when she says no, but it’s quickly forgotten. It’s a game you play that you rarely win, but it’s still fun.
As you walk down the aisles, you spot a few toys that are out of their packages. You can’t believe some kids actually open up toys to play with them, then leave them there. Just then, one of the store workers walks by.
“Excuse me,” you say. “What do you do with all of these toys that are opened?”
“Well,” he says, “if we can put them back in the packages, we try to do that. Sometimes we’ll place all of the opened toys in a basket and sell them for half-price. Other times we just have to throw them away.”
Throw them away, you think. What a waste!
Looking down, you see a small, unwrapped toy. You pick it up, telling yourself that this is probably one that they’d end up throwing away. All of a sudden you look around to see if anyone is watching. When the coast is clear, you put the toy in your pocket. A minute later, Mom pushes her cart around the corner. “Ready to go?” she asks.
“Ready,” you say.
Getting home, you head to your room and shut the door. You can’t believe how easy that was, just taking a toy that probably would have been thrown away.
A couple of weeks later you feel bad. You knew taking the toy was wrong, but it all happened so fast. Now you can’t get it out of your mind. You decide you need to tell Mom what you did.
Questions to Think On
• Have you ever done something that you felt guilty about after you did it? How did you get rid of the guilt?
• What do you think we would do if you “turned yourself in” like the person in this situation?
• What do you think you would have to do to stop feeling guilty about what you did?
• Mom and Dad: How do you get rid of your guilt when you do something wrong?
What Does God Have to Say?
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.