Put yourself in your parents' shoes for a minute. OK, they're too big, they're ugly, and they smell funny (the shoes, not your parents). But try it anyway.
Suppose you're the parent. You decide to let your kid eat whatever he or she wants. A week later you realize that your child's diet has included a dozen Twinkies, twenty-three cans of Pepsi, two boxes of Fruit Roll-Ups, and a tub of ice cream the size of a foreign car-but not one bite of vegetable or protein. You decide
(a) to stop buying meat and vegetables;
(b) to start buying larger clothes for your kid;
(c) to cancel the deal and plan a steady diet of brussel sprouts and asparagus.
Or suppose your kid insists he or she is old enough to stay home alone, without a baby-sitter. You agree, and leave the child alone for a few hours while you and your spouse go shopping together. You return home to discover your kid having a food fight in the living room with Madonna and Dennis Rodman. You decide
(a) to take photos to sell to The National Examiner;
(b) to ask your kid to let you know the next time he or she plans a food fight, so you can cover the furniture in plastic wrap;
(c) never to leave your kid home alone until he or she is collecting Social Security.
Or suppose you give your kid the keys to the family Gremlin on his or her sixteenth birthday. Three days later your kid still has the keys but can't find the car. You decide
(a) to post pictures of your lost car around the neighborhood;
(b) to buy another Gremlin;
(c) to take the keys back.
Now, admit it-you'd probably choose (c) in each case. Why? It's obvious, right? Because as a parent you would want to reward faithfulness, not unfaithfulness.
That's pretty much how it goes. As Jesus said, "To those who use well what they are given [freedom, responsibility, friendship, etc.], even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who are unfaithful, even what little they have will be taken away" (Matthew 25:29).
In other words, those who are faithful to God, to parents, to friends tend to bring good things into their lives, while those who are unfaithful tend to lose out.
REFLECT: Do you think it's easier to be faithful or unfaithful? Why? Do you think it's better to be faithful or unfaithful? Why?
PRAY: "Lord, make me your faithful servant."