Josh McDowell tells the story about one of his daughters when she was in the fourth grade. She and some other students took an object off the teacher's desk one day. The teacher was out of the room at the time and the students took the object off the desk just to play with it and have a little fun while they were unsupervised. Soon, the property which belonged to the teacher was broken by the students. They quickly replaced it on the teacher's desk, in its broken condition, sort of hoping the breakage wouldn't be noticed.
When the teacher returned to the room, she noticed it immediately. She called out to one girl, asking if she knew anything about this broken object. The girl, which had been involved in the incident, lied, saying she knew nothing about it. The teacher called out another name, this time it was McDowell's daughter on the hot seat.
Kelly McDowell answered the teacher's questions immediately and honestly and owned up to her part in taking and breaking the teacher's property. All the time she was talking, Kelly could feel the pressure from her peers, hoping she would protect the rest of them in her answers.
So here is the picture of a man who may be disappointed at the mistake his daughter had made, but proud of her for standing up to her wrongdoing, and maintaining her honesty and integrity throughout the incident.
How does this little story measure up to the way you accept responsibility when you are confronted with something you have done wrong? Do we pass the suspicion onto someone else by denying our involvement? Are we tempted to tell a "little white lie" to avoid punishment?
Consider this section of scripture: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Deuteronomy 6:4-8
God's people have been the target of his love from the very beginning. His commandments, given for our own good and well being, are not given so God can have a reason to zap us when we cross the line, violating some command. He wants our love in return and desires his ways and his commands are rooted deeply in our hearts, taught and impressed on the hearts of our children. Not only this, God's commandments are to be talked about when you are at home, or in casual visits when walking down the street, even when we retire at night and awaken in the morning.
To better understand how the verses tie in with the story, we must bring it inside us and see why God's way is a better way than the way of ourselves. I am glad Kelly spoke the truth in the interrogation by her teacher. She shows, even in her young age, she represents God and God is a God of truth. He is incapable of untruth, just as we, his people should strive to be incapable of untruth.
I challenge you to talk it over with your kids, and in conversations with others you meet. God wants his words to reside in your heart.