The oranges were more expensive than I expected. So, when she gave me the lower price, I was strongly tempted to take it.
But Jesus does not want us to steal from each other.
This is a concept too-little-preached these days, having been incorrectly labeled “passé” and “no longer relevant.” This, along with other valuable Bible teachings, has lately been replaced, to our everlasting shame, with something called CORE VALUES.
But what are CORE VALUES without a CORE? To what are these supposed CORE VALUES anchored? To feelings? These are easily swayed. Social climate? Ever changing. Consensus? Perpetually amended.
When CORE VALUES are anchored to a loving Creator – JESUS – then truth seekers are not going to be moved by feelings, society, or consensus. They will do what is right because they honor the One from Whom all virtue flows.
Deep down, I think even unbelievers understand this. Whenever I ask a surprised sales clerk to correct a price that I know has been accidentally discounted, and I explain, “Jesus does not want us to steal from each other,” although eyebrows may be raised temporarily, everyone seems to understand. I have yet to experience anyone of any religious stripe to come flying at me, railing at me to change my tune in these circumstances.
Is this because I am such a great person? No. I am a thief at heart, riddled at times with covetousness and discontent. There are times that I feel that I have to watch myself constantly until the moment of temptation has finally passed.
Fortunately for me, I happen to be in regular contact with the One Whose core is ABSOLUTE, UNCHANGING VIRTUE. Over the years, He has begun to transplant some of those virtues into me, reminding me when I am tempted to take something that isn’t mine that “Jesus doesn’t want us to steal from each other.”
So, how does a thief at heart teach her children not to steal? Although I still can’t say for sure, I think I may be on the right track.
One thing I do know is that – without a real, substantial CORE to uphold them – CORE VALUES are just an empty promise passed from the ubiquitous-but-ill-defined POLITICALLY CORRECT crowds to the weak characters who are unwilling to commit to the One Who loves them most. How valuable is that?
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” — Psalm 51:10
Praying for continued and increasing holiness today,