Poet James Russell Lowell is quoted:
"In vain we call old notions fudge.
And bend our conscience to our dealing.
The Ten Commandments will not budge,
And stealing will continue stealing.”
God gave those commandments, written in stone, for use as a guide for his life. If we understand rules are the lubricant of society, and really understand they are there to make life easier for everyone, conflicts are fewer and life is more pleasant for all.
But our culture has spawned a Me First age that ignores the day-to-day rules for personal living. Ever follow the arrows to a parking lot only to find someone else did not follow the arrows and, because he did not follow the rules, got there to use that spot? Or ignoring the handicap parking spot to get to the store sooner with less walking? Or stand in line behind someone with 30 items in the 10 item line? Or try to watch a movie with a person behind you incessantly chattering away? In themselves, small things, yet such infractions erode the fabric of a society.
That accounts for road rage, heated exchanges, unnecessary confrontations. Worse, little breaks lead to larger ones. If it’s OK to cheat in line, why not in a test. And if that, why not cheat on income tax. And why not inflate our insurance claim. That company has lots of money and can afford it. And on it goes down the slippery slope.
How bad has it gotten? In St. Paul, Mn, two girls pulled into a KFC and got a bag of cash ($3,000), instead of their chicken and fries. [The manager had put it into the bag to take to the bank after the lunch rush.] The girls returned the money, and people admired and derided their honesty. Sure, KFC could have offered more than a free meal, but the world makes KFC the villain. A company that makes such an error is not evil, or mean-spirited. Stupid maybe, but not an object to be scorned.
I want to live in a world where it is routine to return what is not mine, and where honesty is so well practiced that the story would not have made national news at all.
And that can only happen when the world really understands that Jesus Christ is, indeed, “The Way, the Truth, and the Life.”