USUALLY WHEN WE MAKE A WRONG CHOICE, IT’S NOT BECAUSE WE DIDN’T KNOW WHAT WAS RIGHT; IT’S BECAUSE WE DESIRED WHAT WAS WRONG.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read James 1:12-16.
Verse of the Day: “Do not do as the wicked do or follow the path of evildoers” (Proverbs 4:14).
Heidi’s wide eyes gazed up at her mother with a combination of fear and sadness. She stood on the top step of her house, facing the front door, which her mother had just opened. Two police officers stood behind her. “What’s this all about?” Mom asked.
“Ma’am,” a female officer said, “this young lady tried to shoplift several items from McCracken’s Department Store.”
Mom looked from the officer to her daughter. “Is this true, Heidi?” she asked. Heidi nodded solemnly. “Yes,” she whispered.
“If it’s all right with you, ma’am,” the officer said, “we’ll turn her over to your custody, since this is her first offense.” “Yes,” she said. “Thank you, Officers.”
Mom and Heidi walked the few steps to the staircase, and Mom sat on the second step. “What did you take?” she asked her daughter.
“Well,” Heidi said, “I just saw this really cool jumper, and I knew we’d never have enough money to buy it.” She stopped. “I’m sorry.”
“Didn’t you know what you were doing was wrong?”
Heidi’s gaze dropped. “Yes,” she answered.
“If you knew it was wrong,” Mom asked, “why did you do it?”
Heidi opened and closed her mouth several times. Finally, she shook her head and said, “I just wanted it, Mom. I’m sorry. I feel so awful.”
When Mom looked up, there were tears in her eyes. “Heidi,” she said, “I know it’s hard to choose right sometimes—especially when doing wrong seems so attractive and so easy. But the path of evildoers leads to disappointment and destruction, Heidi.”
“I know, Mom,” Heidi said. “I never want to feel this horrible again.”
Mom nodded. “Good. Because the devil wants you to think that the evil desires that lead to wrong choices are going to get you what you want; but don’t you believe it! The Bible says that evil desires lead to evil actions, and evil actions lead to death.”
“I believe it,” Heidi said. “I’ve learned my lesson.”
“I hope so,” Mom said. She draped an arm around Heidi’s shoulders and hugged her. “I surely hope so.”
TO DISCUSS: When you make a wrong choice, is it usually because you didn’t know it was wrong, or because you just didn’t want to do what was right? Have wrong choices ever gotten you what you wanted? (Be honest!) Are the things you get from wrong choices satisfying? Why or why not? How can you better resist temptation?
TO PRAY: “Lord, doing what’s wrong seems to come so easily. Yet we feel so awful when we sin. Forgive us. Lord, for the times when we do slip up. Help us to choose the right path again.”