If in Doubt, Leave It Out
IF YOU THINK SOMETHING’S WRONG AND YOU GO AHEAD AND DO IT ANYWAY, THAT WOULD BE SIN.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Romans 14:23.
Verse of the Day: “Anyone who believes that something he wants to do is wrong shouldn’t do it” (Romans 14:23, TSLB).
“Aunt Helen,” Shadayva asked, “can I ask you a question?”
Aunt Helen smiled and nodded. She and Shadayva sat side by side at the bus stop. They had spent Saturday morning at church, packing bag lunches to be delivered to needy people. “You can ask me whatever you want, child,” Aunt Helen said.
Shadayva hesitated for a moment. “Is it a sin,” she asked, speaking slowly and thoughtfully, “if you’re not sure something is wrong, but you do it anyway?”
“I don’t know,” Aunt Helen said. “It may be, and it may not be. It isn’t necessarily a sin to do something that you don’t know is right or wrong. You can’t know everything, and nobody expects you to. Why, sometimes your of Aunt Helen doesn’t even know exactly what to do. Of course, if you think it’s wrong and you go ahead and do it anyway, that would be sin.” She studied Shadayva’s face. “Why do you ask, child?”
Shadayva shrugged. She swung her legs beneath her as she sat on the wooden bench. “Tamera-she’s one of my friends-asked me to do her a favor.”
“What kind of favor?” Aunt Helen asked.
“She wanted me to show her my homework so she could see how I did the hard problems.”
“Did you give her your homework?”
Shadayva shook her head. “Not yet.”
“Do you think she wants to copy your homework?”
Shadayva shrugged. “I don’t know.”
“So you’re wondering if it would be wrong to let Tamera see your homework,” Aunt Helen said.
“Yes, ma’am,” Shadayva answered.
Aunt Helen shifted on the hard wooden bench. She draped her arm around Shadayva’s shoulders and pulled her closer. “Well, child, when you have doubts about whether something is right or wrong, the best thing to do is nothing.”
“That’s right,” Aunt Helen said. “You should try to make sure what you want to do is right before you do it. If you’re not sure, then don’t do anything until you can pray about it, and read your Bible, and ask your mother and father.” “Or my Aunt Helen,” Shadayva added.
Aunt Helen smiled and hugged her niece. “Or your Aunt Helen,” she said.
TO DO: Have a “Do Nothing Contest.” See who can sit for the longest period of time without moving, twitching, speaking, or laughing. The winner’s prize: nothing!
TO PRAY: “Lord, help us remember to do right before we take a step in any direction.”