By Greg Johnson
When you got your dog a few years ago, you promised you’d take care of it. But now, just as we predicted, Mom and Dad do most of the work. Oh, we don’t complain too much about it. We realize it comes with the territory of being a parent.
Even though you don’t always have to feed Max, you still have to keep an eye on him. For the most part, Max stays in our yard, but sometimes he likes to get out and explore the neighborhood. When he does, he’ll usually start digging in someone’s flower bed. That’s when you hear about it from us because we hear about it from the neighbors). In fact, Dad has said that if Max tears up someone’s flowers again you’ll be punished.
As you’re heading up the hill toward home one day after school, you look toward our house and see that the gate to the fence has been left open.
Immediately you start yelling out Max’s name. After about the fourth yell, you see him running from the back of a neighbor’s yard.
The dog is wagging his tail a mile a minute and looks happy—too happy—as you head toward him.
“What have you been up to?” you ask him (as if he’d tell you if he could).
Going around to the back of the house to investigate, you quickly spot the damage. The dog has completely dug up the vegetable garden. Lucky for you the neighbors aren’t home. Re-planting as many vegetables as you can, you look around one last time and take your dog home—hoping no one saw what happened.
That night during dinner the phone rings. Dad answers. It’s the neighbor. Dad is silent for a minute, then turns around to look at you. Holding the phone on his chest, he says, “Did Max get out of the backyard today?”
Questions to Think On
• If you knew you were going to be punished if you admitted the truth, what would you do?
• What do you think it means to ‘take responsibility”?
• Why is that so difficult sometimes?
• Besides taking responsibility, what are your options?
What Does God Have to Say?
A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out lies will perish.
A false witness will perish, and whoever listens to him will be destroyed forever.