Friday, July 31st, 2009
"We wish to conduct ourselves honestly in all things." (Hebrews 13:18)
An important aspect of Jesus' way of teaching was that he lived in harmony with what he taught. Many people come to appreciate the fine conduct of Jehovah's Witnesses, who imitate Jesus in this regard. A businessman in New Zealand had his car broken into and his briefcase stolen. The police said to him: "Your only chance of getting your property back would be if one of Jehovah's Witnesses was to find it." A Witness did find the briefcase. Notified of this, the owner came to the sister's home. He was relieved to find that a document that was invaluable to him was there. The sister told him, "It was only proper that I return the property, especially as I am one of Jehovah's Witnesses." The businessman was amazed, remembering what the constable had told him that very morning.
(Watchtower issue: 02/15/08, 4:14)
*I had quite a memorable 'lesson in honesty' when I was a kid which stuck with me all my life, because it made such a big impression. In fact, there's a story in chapter 14 of the 'Keep Yourselves in God's Love' book with an illustration about a little kid who had a similar experience to mine...and when I read it I said: "hey thats my story!" (even though I'm sure there are lots of kids who can say the same thing)
Ok when I was four years old I was grocery shopping with my mom and I asked her if she could buy this bottle of nailpolish with red sparkles that I really wanted, so she said yes. Well I put it in my pocket and forgot to give it to her at the check-out. So on the way home from the store I reached in my pocket and found the nailpolish bottle and remembered we hadn't paid for it. And at first I was afraid to say anything, but finally I told my mom (who of course lets out this huge gasp, since she can be the biggest overreactor sometimes! lol) -So when we got home we told my dad about it, and in this firm tone that I wasn't used to hearing him use, he told me we needed to go back to the store. I was so scared all the way there wondering how I was going to explain myself (even though it was an accident since I had meant to pay for it) But fortunately my dad knew how nervous I was, so he decided not to make a big issue of it and embarrass me...so once we got there we just went through the check-out lane and paid for it. But that one event (which many parents would probably just ignore or act like "its no big deal") made such a big impression on me about honesty, that from that day forward, taking something or keeping something I found which didn't belong to me, never even crossed my mind. So the way a parent handles even small matters involving honest behavior can really play an important role in determing how their child will view bigger issues involving honesty when they grow up.