Hearing the warning, Sherry, 13, whirled just in time for the flying eraser to graze her on the cheek. Jessica stood by the teacher’s desk, laughing, while Sherry angrily reached down to pick up the eraser. The two of them had come back early after finishing their lunch early and were alone in the room. All Sherry could think about was getting even. She picked up the eraser then flung it at Jessica with all her skills and abilities.
Jessica was able to dodge the eraser so that it just clipped her elbow. The flying eraser glanced off and hit a photograph and a vase of three red roses on the teacher’s desk. Jessica laughed harder than ever. Sherry was not thinking about her. Racing to the desk, she managed to brush away the photograph before a significant amount of water spilled on it. But there was glass everywhere, both from the base and from the picture frame. Jessica picked up one of the roses then looked at the clock. The other students and teacher would be back from lunch in a matter of minutes. Dropping the rose, Sherry bolted from the room with Jessica close behind her.
Mrs. Mendoza stood by her desk with an angry look on her face when Sherry returned. Sherry was glad she had remembered, at the last instant, to wipe the blue colored ink off her face and hands. As long as Jessica kept quiet, there was nothing to tie her to the crime. Still, whenever Mrs. Mendoza looked in her direction, Sherry felt extremely nervous and uneasy.
Mrs. Mendoza finished her short, biting 5 minute speech by saying, “What really disappoints me so much is that whoever did it doesn’t have the nerve to own up to it.” Sherry began to feel sick.
It was much worse the next day when Jessica came up to her with a devilish grin. “Give me your lunch money plus an additional five bucks or I’ll tell Mrs. Mendoza that you did it to her picture and vase,” she said. Sherry threatened to beat her senseless but in the end she had to hand over the money.
Mrs. Mendoza was in a bad mood all day. By one o’clock the pangs of teenage hunger added to Sherry’s misery. How many more days could this go on? Sherry tried desperately to find a way out of her problem.
Finally, with her head throbbing and stomach grumbling, she made up her mind to confess after school. She was not sure what she could expect from Mrs. Mendoza. She with a headache and sour stomach, Sherry went to the teacher’s lounge to explain what had happened to her roses and picture frame. She found Mrs. Mendoza was not a mean and unforgiving woman as she had thought her to be. After Sherry apologized, Mrs. Mendoza simply asked if she could think of a way to correct the situation. Sherry agreed and promised to pay for whatever was broken and ruined. Mrs. Mendoza and Sherry shook hands. After that, nothing further was said about the incident.
As Sherry left the teacher’s lounge, she felt as if she was walking out of jail. “YES! Now I can go on living again!”
Like Sherry, many Christians today increasingly are suspicious of God’s laws and rules for living. Many think that laws and rules tell a person what to do rather than how to live. They believe to follow laws and rules make them no better than a slave. God’s laws and rules are said to be God’s but not for humans. God is now said to be a human invention as well. In other words, everything is relative where the smartest, strongest and the most aggressive rule out of physical strength or coercion.
The book of Galatians informs us that those who believe God enslaves humankind have it all backwards. God’s commands will not enslave humanity. Rather they will make us freer than ever before. God desires to save us from the miserable life that comes from living in sin.
Few criminals get their start in crime by suddenly deciding that’s what they would like to do with their lives. Crime comes when people are locked into bad habits, sinful surroundings, hatred, greed, laziness, hedonism and desperation. If only could be free from such dilemmas.
God’s command to love unconditionally can help humankind break away from the prison of sin and the problems sin gets anyone who lives that sort of life. God’s way helps each person to concentrate on humankind being all that they can be with greater freedom and abundantly more happiness! What greater freedom is there?
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