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We all are Tempted by the Same Opportunities to do Wrong.
If we are all tempted by the same opportunities to do wrong why do some of us take action and do the wrong thing and others refuse to? We might say it is a difference in each person’s character; a strong person resists; a weak person caves in.
The circumstances of life do play a part I am sure: a poor person may find it hard to not take food left unattended while a rich person wouldn’t even think of it. OK this seems logical and easy to accept; or is it?
The Temptation to Steal may have Nothing to do with need.
You surely have learned about disadvantaged people returning lost money and some affluent person taking things they do not need. Can this anomalous behavior be attributed to individual difference in the way people are made? In other words dictated by how their genes worked together with their environment to form their individuality? Perhaps this is a factor when considering some individuals yet what if we consider all humans? If we consider all humans as a group we may discover the observed behavior and the correlation with apparent motive for stealing can be represented by a “bell curve”. The lower and upper extremes being never stealing to the upper limit always stealing. So many factors apply to people that we can never predict exactly who will or will not steal under any test situation but we can get a sense that out of x number of people 1 will steal. We also may be able to predict what an individual may do or not do if we have sufficient information about that person. Still what I am most interested in, is what the vast majority of people within a culture would do under which circumstances. I can get some idea by looking at human behavior data: it often plots as that proverbial “bell curve.” i may perceive or derivemeaning from this as, most people will steal something under some particular situation. If I compare different groups over time (like A generation to B generation or more generations) I may be able to recognize a trend.
I Believe Most People Will Take Something that is not Theirs Sometime.
The possibility of stealing goes way up when a person believes what they are taking won’t be missed, it is too small with very little value, the victim has so much material wealth, it is in some way owed to them or everybody does it so it is OK. Not paying all the tax one owes, insurance fraud, price gouging and not returning borrowed things are all forms of theft. People can rationalize claiming, ” I didn’t steal a car, rob a bank or embezzled from my employer so I am not really guilty.” If you believe that, you are wrong. How can we do better than that? Teach our children right from wrong and live up to their expectations is a good place to start.
In the U.S.A our Legal System is Heavily Influenced by the Bible.
The Bible (Old and New Testaments) provide all the information we need to do what is right and avoid doing what id wrong. Our Nation is at its best when the Christian foundation of our society strives to rise above human imperfection by believing what God’s Word teaches, reveals and instructs. So here are a some quotes from the Bible as examples.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.
Romans 3:23 (NIV)
. . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Galatians 6:7-8 (ESV)
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.