THE WATER TANK.
A story is told of a village in a part of the world that is rainy for a small part of the year and dry throughout the rest of the year.
One year the village elders announced a plan: Everyone in the village was to bring a single cup of water to a large tank in the center of the town during the rainy season. Then, when the dry season came and water was scarce, the village would still have water, and they would all share equally the water in the tank.
The villagers all cheered the elders' plan, and it was agreed. The rainy season came and went; dust began to settle on the village, the ground began to crack from the dryness, and water became scarce.
Then the day arrived when the elders agreed that the tank should be opened and the precious water should be shared among the villagers. Everyone gathered around the tank with cups and bowls, and a spirit of celebration was in the air. With great ceremony, the elders opened the tank and discovered that not a drop of water was to be found inside!
Only then was it learned that not one of the villagers who had agreed to the elders' plan had given a single cup of water. Each had assumed that his or her cup of water would not be missed, and so the water tank had sat empty throughout the rainy season. The village was without water.
It's easy to think that no one will notice our unfaithfulness. It's easy to skip church or not attend a club meeting at school or decide not to fulfill a promise we've made to a friend, thinking "no one will notice" or "it's no big deal."
But unfaithfulness doesn't hurt only those who are depending on us; it hurts us, too. If each of the villagers had brought his or her cup of water, that water would have been returned to them all. If you are faithful, you'll receive faithfulness back-from God and from others, many times over.
REFLECT: What do you think would have happened if the villagers in the story above had kept their agreement? Do you ever act like those villagers, thinking no one will notice your irresponsibility or unfaithfulness? Have you ever been hurt or disappointed by someone's unfaithfulness? Have you ever been hurt or disappointed by your own unfaithfulness?
PRAY: Read the words of Psalm 18:25-28 out loud, this time making them your prayer to God.