1 John 1:9-10 - If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
In the scheme of things, it was a small thing: only $5.
* Five dollars is the amount of money a patron left as a tip for his waitress at Our Place Restaurant in Mansfield, Texas.
* Five dollars is the amount which was still left on the table when the next family was seated.
* Five dollars is the amount the little girl in that family hid away under her menu.
Now you know more than did that table's waitress. All she knew is that her tip had been there, and then, when she was able to get over to her table to pick it up, it wasn't there anymore. She assumed her money had fallen on the floor, or slipped under the jelly and sugar caddy.
It was only when the new family, the father, mother, and their daughter left the restaurant that the waitress found out her money wasn't at her table anymore. The owner of the restaurant, Benji Arslanovski, took his waitress and together they reviewed the security camera footage.
What they saw disturbed them.
They watched as the little girl showed her parents the money. Watching the scene play out, Arslanovski observed, "If my son did that and it's not my money, I'd give him a look and he'd put it down, so I was waiting for that look. And, it (the look) didn't happen."
Instead, the parents did nothing, and their little girl pocketed the money.
The theft upset Arslanovski. The restaurant's owner posted the video of the theft on Facebook. Within a few hours, the girl's mother came in and returned the money, who said they had thought it was theirs. Arslanovski isn't sure if he believed her, but he took down the video.
Arslanovski says it isn't the first time he has posted a video of a misbehaving patron. There have been eight customers who walked out the door without paying their bill. After their videos were posted, six out of the eight deadbeats returned and made good on their omission.
So, do you think these folks repented of their sin? No one can be certain, but I wonder ...
Many years ago, the great pulpiteer, Charles Spurgeon, defined repentance this way: "Repentance is a discovery of the evil of sin, a mourning that we have committed it, a resolution to forsake it. It is, in fact, a change of mind of a very deep and practical character, which makes the man love what once he hated, and hate what once he loved."
Well, I doubt if that family has embraced that level of repentance. If they had, they would have brought their daughter in and encouraged her to own up. Yes, $5 maybe a little thing, but it can be a big thing when it comes to setting a spiritual direction and a moral compass in a child's life.
It would have been a big thing because that little girl would have known the joy of having a Lord who assures that if you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive you your sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I confess my many sins and in doing so rejoice in the forgiveness which comes with faith in the Redeemer. In whose Name I pray. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Andrea Lucia on July 16, 2018 for CBS Dallas, Fort Worth. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: https://dfw.cbslocal.com/2018/07/16/restaurant-publicly-shames-taking-waitress-tip/
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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