Did you see the recent "Dennis the Menace" cartoon where he was kneeling at his beside praying to God not to tell his parents what he had done? Even Dennis knows that God sees our every move and hears our every word and knows our every thought. As parents, we try to teach our children right from wrong. Often times they, as we, are overcome by temptations. The Lord's Prayer says: "Lead me not into temptations, but deliver me from evil." But often Satan is right there urging us to do something that we know is not right or not God's will. However. God gave us a guilty conscience to remind us forever that we have to live with this burden unless we seek God's forgiveness. The Bible says: "God forgives us for our sins and remembers them no more." We have to do like Dennis and kneel down before God and ask for His forgivenesss.

When my son was in first grade he and his friend walked a few blocks to school each day and they passed a little store that carried many items. One day he came home from school with a candy bar that he had put in his pocket without paying for it. When I asked him about it, he said that both he and his friend had taken one. I went into great detail telling him how this was wrong. That the Bible said:"Thou Shall Not Steal," and we had taught him not to take things without paying for them. Of course his excuse was that Johnny told him to take one. I told him that we were going right back to the store and give it back to the clerk. I called Johnny's mother and asked her if she wanted to go too and she said," No, he had already eaten it and it wasn't such a big deal anyway." I am afraid this is the attitude of many parents and consequently leads to their children's stealing bigger things and leading to a troubled life.

We went back to the store and the clerk said he was aware that they had taken the candy and he was very pleased that my son returned the candy. He said that he didn't stop them because he wanted to teach them the lesson that their conscience would bother them if they did not bring it back and apologize. My son is now 50 and he said during a recent visit that he still remembers this incident.

When we do something wrong, steal, lie, cheat, be greedy or unkind our conscience keeps reminding us. I read about a women who was asked by a friend, "What is it like to be a Christian?" The friend replied, "It is like being a pumpkin, God picks you from the patch, brings you in and washes all the dirt off of you. Then He cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, lying, cheating, stealing and greed. Then He carves a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see."

I want to be a pumpkin. How about you?

Fern McCallum

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