Have you ever stolen anything?
Proverbs 6:30-31. 30 People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry, 31 but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold; he will give all the goods of his house.
In life we need to know what is right and what is wrong. What is good and what is bad. We need to know what is required by God’s law.
Beyond knowing God’s law, we need to have God’s wisdom, the wisdom of Jesus that allows for mercy and compassion. Often the rules (the law) don’t include any compassion or kindness, mercy or grace. But wisdom does. Solomon is teaching us that lesson here at the end of Proverbs 6. He says that a thief might break the law by stealing, but if he does it so that he can eat when he is hungry, then people will understand and forgive him. People will have compassion and maybe even let him go.
In the gospel of Luke there is a story of a thief named Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus had stolen money from many people, and it wasn’t because he was hungry. But Jesus loved Zacchaeus and forgave him. He became friends with Zacchaeus and even had dinner at his house. Jesus was showing us that even though someone does something wrong that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be their friend and be kind to them. And guess what Zacchaeus did after he met Jesus? He gave back all the money he had stolen and then some. Not because Jesus made him, but because he wanted to.
That’s what being loved by Jesus does, it lets us be forgiven, but it also lets us want to make the wrong things we’ve done right.
Because of Jesus we are never despised by God, even if we do what is wrong.
With Jesus we can make our wrongs right.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Sing Zacchaeus Was a Wee Little Man together. Talk about how Jesus changed Zacchaeus’ heart with his kindness.
Jesus, thank you for loving me and forgiving me. Now help me to make right anything that I have done wrong to others. Amen.
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