A few years ago I was at a bookstore trying to find my next reading “treasure”. As I was looking at a book I heard an employee next to me talking to a woman who had “borrowed” one of the stores carts. She had loaded it with items. The employee told her she wasn't suppose to use it, and would take her books to the front where she could pay for them later. The woman strongly resisted saying, ‘You can’t have them. Somebody will steal them.”
That person left and shortly another employee came to relieve her of her cart but met the same resistance. It was getting a little weird, so I went to the other side of the store where the music is displayed. After laying down a cd I was looking at, a hand quickly reached in front of me grabbing the music disc, and putting it on her cart. Yes, the woman had followed me! I went down further and she reached in front of me again grabbing the item I was looking at. I quickly went down the row over to the next aisle, and within seconds she was standing at my side.
I asked, “Can I help you?” She replied, “I ran out of ideas of things to put on my cart so I will take things you are interested in.” I prayed quickly and looked her in the eye, “You need to stop this behavior.” She looked down and said, “I will, I promise, I am sorry.” She left her cart and walked away. I guess that was a hobby of hers to go around picking up all sorts of things, and then leaving without buying. The employees certainly were glad she was gone.
I thought about this later and came to the conclusion that this is like our relationship with God sometimes. We get busy doing all sorts of things that really don’t help others, but we don’t know how to stop. If we are in the Word and listen to the Holy Spirit we will be convicted to end this “sinful” behavior. It’s freeing when we’re told to stop! We can promise God that we will stop, say we are sorry, and then change our behavior. That’s cool. I think they call it repentance and forgiveness.
Do you need to “stop” certain behavior, thoughts, or words today?
Confess bad behavior (your sin) and ask forgiveness. Amen?