With four boys together for most of the day, I knew anything was possible.
“We had gone into CVS for a snack and when we walked out one of my friends was holding a bottle of hand sanitizer he hadn’t paid for,” Ben continued. “Why would you steal that? I said to him.”
“It’s no big deal. It’s so small and inexpensive,” his friend answered.
In Ben’s mind it didn’t matter how small the object was, stealing was a big deal so he grabbed the hand sanitizer out of his friend’s hand and stormed back into the store.
Placing it on the counter Ben said, “I’m sorry, my friend stole this.” And he walked out.
This proud mama bear was amazed at the decisiveness of our own Dennis the Menace. There was no hesitation or questioning about what was the correct thing to do.
There is no way, as a teenager, I would have done what he did. I, in fact, had the same opportunity to test my character when I was in high school. One day while shopping with a good friend, she decided to shoplift a tube of mascara. I said nothing and just went along for the ride. Keeping quiet about my disapproval, I was nervous the whole way home with stolen lute in the car. Of course, I knew stealing was wrong but the lines between right and wrong were smudged by other wants: wanting to be liked, not wanting to make my friend mad, and not wanting to embarrass anyone.
If we have knowledge of wrong, like I did, but don’t put it into practice is there any value in having knowledge in the first place?
Kok-maw is the Hebrew word for wisdom and means to be wise in thought and deed. “Wisdom begins with knowing what is right according to God and ends with action.” (Quoted from If I Only Had. . . Wrapping Yourself in God’s Truth During Storms of Insecurity by Lisa Burkhardt Worley and Catherine Weiskopf) Matthew 11:19, says it this way, The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, “Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” But wisdom is proved right by her deeds. Wisdom is proved by action not by what fires around the gray matter of our brain.
In my eyes my fifteen-year-old son displayed wisdom well beyond his years that day. He is inspiring me to ask myself some tough questions: When I know something is wrong what do I do about it? Do I let the want of being liked freeze my actions? How can I have the wisdom that is wrapped up in the single Hebrew word of kok-maw?
There is only one way for our God given wisdom to have an affect on the world. Action. Like Ben, we are called to know right from wrong, and then with that knowledge grab the wrong decisively and make it right.
Categories: Archived Devotions