"You shall not steal." Exodus 20:15 (NIV)
When I was seven years old, Mother allowed me to accompany my friend, Becky to the store. When we got there, Mr. Sam took her list, filling the order. Becky whispered in my ear something that gave me chills. I struggled with my conscience, knowing it was wrong to steal. My mothers words echoed in my head about disobeying God's commandments.
"Come on," Becky urged. "Take a cookie for you and one for me. I'll watch and tell you when Mr. Sam comes back."
My mouth watered in anticipation. I eased the lid off the big jar and took two cookies. When Becky got her order, she said loudly, "Mr. Sam, Bonnie took two cookies from the cookie jar." I wanted to disappear.
Mr. Sam scowled at me but told me to keep the cookies. I left the store and ran all the way home, never looking back at my so-called "friend."
Right away, Mother knew something was amiss. She saw the cookies and asked where they came from.
"The store," I answered meekly.
"Did you steal them?"
"Yes," I said, my head bowed in shame.
Mother was a whirlwind. She grabbed my hand and dragged me back to the store, anger boiling inside her. She made me tell Mr. Sam what I had done. "I taught her better than that!" Mother said vehemently. She took the cookies and threw them in the trash can. That day I got the hardest spanking and most stinging lecture on how God hates stealing.
Lesson learned. I didn't understand then, but my mother loved me more by disciplining me, further enforcing the eighth commandment.
Father, thank You for a mother who knew the Ten Commandments and brought me up by the seat of my panties when I needed it. Amen.
© 2016 Evelyn B. Ryan