MEAT LOAF, THE MOTHER SHIP, AND GOD.
You go to a friend's house for dinner. When it's time to eat, you head for the bathroom to wash up, but your friend says, "Skip it. We never wash our hands before eating." Your friend's behavior would probably make you think:
(a) Your own family is weird for washing up before every meal.
(b) Your friend's family must keep their hands really clean between meals.
(c) You'd better not eat the meat loaf.
You sit beside a lady on the bus. She hands you a roll of aluminum foil and whispers, "The alien invasion starts at noon tomorrow. Use this to signal the Mother Ship." Her statement prompts you to conclude:
(a) You should skip school and wait for the Mother Ship.
(b) She's probably a spy and mistook you for her "contact."
(c) This lady is a few fries short of a Happy Meal.
You ascend a great big mountain in a vast desert. God meets you there and gives you ten commandments, one of which says: "You shall not steal." You figure that
(a) God needs a better speech writer;
(b) God's making this stuff up off the top of his head;
(c) God values trustworthiness.
If you didn't answer (c) for each of the above, we need to have a talk, especially about the third scenario. You see, a lot of people understand that God said, "You shall not steal." But they don't understand why God said that. They know stealing is wrong, but they don't understand why it's wrong. They know God's not so keen on the idea of swiping a few dollars from your brother's dresser drawer, but they don't know why God has such a problem with it.
The eighth commandment, "Do not steal," was not just thrown into the Ten Commandments because God thought, Hey, that's a good one, let's throw it in there. He included that one because it communicates something very important: God wants us to be trustworthy because he values trustworthiness. He values trustworthiness because he is trustworthy. The eighth commandment reveals an important truth about God: He is a trustworthy God, and he wants us to reflect his nature and character.
REFLECT: The eighth commandment reveals God as a trustworthy God. Can you think of other reasons to believe that he is trustworthy? Do you trust him? Why or why not?
PRAY: "God, I thank you for being trustworthy. Help me place my trust in you. And enable me to be trustworthy, too, especially when I..."