WRONG CHOICES SOMETIMES OFFER IMMEDIATE REWARDS, BUT THE REWARDS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS ARE GREATER.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Romans 8:12-14, 17.
Verse of the Day: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17, NIV).
Isaiah walked through the giant arena with his grandfather. Booth after booth was filled with sports memorabilia and collectors’ items. “Pop,” Isaiah said, using the name he had always called his grandfather, “can I buy some of that candy?”
Pop shrugged. “It’s your money,” he said. “I’ll wait right here for you.”
Isaiah walked over to a counter filled with all kinds of candy. Isaiah made his purchase and counted his change as he walked away from the counter. The cashier had given him too much change! He returned to the counter, explained what had happened, and returned the overpayment to the cashier.
When Isaiah explained what had happened, Pop’s eyes sparkled with pride. “You did the right thing, Isaiah,” he said. “I’m right proud of you.”
Isaiah smiled. “I wish I could have kept it. I could’ve gotten a Wad-o-Gum too.”
Pop nodded. “I suppose,” he said. “Sometimes it’s tempting to do wrong, because the right choice doesn’t seem to have as many benefits, at least not right away.” He suddenly spied a booth displaying an assortment of baseball cards. He led Isaiah over to the booth. “You see those cards?” he asked. He pointed to cards bearing pictures of Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, and other great baseball players. “I had every one of those cards when I was your age. Some of them are worth hundreds of dollars now.”
“Why didn’t you keep ’em, Pop?”
Pop peered intently into Isaiah’s eyes. “I traded my whole card collection to Tyrone Harris. He had two tickets to the fair, and I wanted to go so bad, nothing else mattered to me. So my friend Sticks Benjamin and I went to the fair.”
“Wow,” Isaiah said. “Just think what your card collection would be worth now!” Pop rested a hand on Isaiah’s shoulder. “I was sorry almost as soon as I got home from the fair, because I knew I’d given away something worth a lot more to me than two fair tickets. It’s the same way when we do wrong, Son. The wrong choice may look real good right now, but in the long run, it’s worth a lot more to do the right thing. I hope you’ll always remember that.” “I’ll try, Pop,” Isaiah said.
“Now, how ’bout I go buy you a Wad-o-Gum for being so honest?” “All right!” Isaiah said.
TO DISCUSS: Think of a time when you were tempted to do wrong. What happened? If you didn’t give in, how did you feel? If you did give in to temptation, what do you know now that you wish you had known then?
TO PRAY: “Father God, sometimes the wrong choice does look good to us, which is why we’re so tempted at times. Help us always to remember that, in your own way and in your own time, you will reward us for making right choices.”