Sweet Cream Frosting

A wicked person earns deceptive wages, but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward. Proverbs 11:18 (NIV)

Lunch time at our local high school is usually uneventful. After students down their lunches, they file into the hallway for thirty minutes of free time.

On warmer days, students can be found outside on the lawn, but on a particularly cold day when I was visiting the school, they huddled around vending machines in the back hallway.

It was a typical winter day until …an unwary student leaned against the side of the pastry machine. The front panel swung open, leaving the donuts and cheese danishes and chocolate éclairs unsecure and at the mercy of the corporate conscience.

A brief moment of silence hushed over the crowd, and then pandemonium swept in. It was as if a battle of conscience and good moral character were taking place. I heard a girl say, “Quick – someone get a teacher.” Another student yelled, “Grab all you can!” Someone replied, “No, that’s not right.”

Several boys known for spending numerous hours in the principal’s office pumped their fists in the air and nodded their approval to grab the sweet treats.  These inaudible suggestions were all one boy needed. In one quick motion, he stuffed his coat full of starch and sugar and sweet cream frosting and was bolting down the hallway.

But as he rounded a corner, he slammed right into a teacher, sending plastic-packaged pastries flying all over the hallway.

While I chuckle at this story, the temptation to get ahead by corrupt means is common to all people – not just those of the juvenile persuasion. Even god-fearing people can be tempted to be unethical.

Are you being tempted to be dishonest or deceptive in order to gain something unfairly? Does the end justify the means? How are you holding up under your temptation? What would God have you to do in these situations?

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