Do the Right Thing
Being honest and trustworthy -- even when no one is watching.
A dollar bill and a bag such as one that a business might use to take deposits to the bank.
"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much." Luke 16:10 (NIV)
What would you do if you were walking home from school and found a bag like this one -- and when you looked inside, you discovered that it contained a lot of money? Would you tell your parents and report your find to the police, or would you say, "Wow! This must be my lucky day?"
This morning I am going to tell you three true stories about people who found a large amount of money and chose to do the right thing.
Hector Rodriguez is a 15-year old high school student. One day, Hector found a bag of money containing $120 on top of the Coke machine. He took it to his teacher the two of them went to the principal's office to turn in the money. When asked why he turned in the money instead of keeping it, Hector said that he was concerned that the employee who left the bag would get in trouble if he lost this money.
Eddie McLaughlin was walking home one evening when he found a bag on the sidewalk outside of a store. He picked up the bag, looked inside, and saw that it contained a large amount of money. When Eddie got home, he told his wife about finding the bag of money and together they counted it. There was over $4,000 in the bag. Eddie called the police and told them about the money. The manager of the store had dropped the bag while closing up, and without a doubt, he was happy that it was Eddie McLaughlin who found the money.
Driving home from work one night, Jason Baxter crossed a well lit intersection and saw what he thought was a book lying in the road. He stopped and picked it up. It turned out to be an appointment book with zippered pockets. Looking in the first pocket, Jason found six dollars and a driver's license. When he opened the second pocket, there was a big wad of cash! When he arrived home, Jason counted the money. There was more than $9,000 in cash. For some, the decision might have been difficult, but not for Jason. He called the police and reported his find. When asked why he turned the money in, he answered, "It was just the right thing to do."
When we hear stories like these, it may make us stop and ask ourselves, "What would I have done if I had found all of that money?" To find the answer to that question, ask yourself, "What would I do if I found a dollar on the floor beside my teacher's desk?" You see, honesty is not a question of how much money is involved, it is a matter of doing the right thing.
One day Jesus told his disciples a story about a rich man who had a manager, and the manager was using the man's money for himself. The rich man discovered that the manager was wasting his money so he called him in and fired him. After telling this story, Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much." If we make sure that we are honest in the small things, then we can be sure that we will be honest in the big things. If people know that they can trust us in small things, they will know that they can trust us in the big things too.
Dear Father, help us to remember what Jesus taught about honesty and help us to be honest in every situation -- big or small. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.