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Friday, June 3, 2011

Quiet Time: No Grief for a Thief

No Grief for a Thief

Read: 1 Peter 2:13-25

For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. 
 – 1 Peter 2:20

No one has grief for a thief; the one who cries is the criminal.

A friend of mine was recently fired from his job for steeling. Now, that’s not so unusual really. Intelligent, articulate, well bred, well read people with absolutely no reason to steal get caught with their hands in the cookie jar all the time.

Remember Matthew Rudolf, a former accountant for the NBC TV series “30 Rock” who was found altering receipts and falsifying expense documents in order to pocket a little extra cash. I’m sure we all remember Bernard Madoff and his multi-billion dollar ponzie scheme.

Well, my buddy had a six figure job that he loved, money in the bank, and a terrific future ahead of him. He was caught taking something from his company in order to sell it on the side for a few thousand dollars. The irony is; he didn’t need the money!

At first blush we may all be tempted to wag our heads and cluck our tongues at so foolish an act, but are any of us really that far away from doing the same thing? How many office supplies have we taken from the company “accidentally” at the end of our day or how often have we wasted time web browsing instead of working? A little extra break time here, a little less hard work there…The truths is, many of us steal (regularly) and are not punished for it. However, when things like this happen; when our friends, family, or work associates find a way to really mess things up, I think we should take these moments as a wakeup call and refocus our hearts and minds on Jesus.

No one cares for a criminal but everyone cries when their caught doing the wrong thing. Perhaps we need to learn to mourn for our messes before anyone knows they exist (James 4:8-10). Then we can press in to Jesus and press on in His presence by turning from our sin and walking in Him (Philippians 3:14). He is our example of doing the right thing even when doing it hurts.

Oh, yes, and if you think you can find a moment to pray for my buddy today, I know that he’d appreciate it.
I know I would.

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