[ The Trumans - Is it Stealing, or not?  That is the Question. ]

We all wish sometimes that the things we buy were a little cheaper. With inflation and higher cost of living it’s tough at times to make it in life with what money we have. Matt is going to face a situation were he is going to have to figure out whether he will remain true to his beliefs or not.

Is it Stealing, or not? That is the Question

“Hi Matt, how was your day?” his dad asked him as Matt walked in the front door from work.

“Oh, work was good, but I don’t think my tires on my car are doing so well though,” replied Matt as he sat down on the couch next to his dad.

“What’s wrong with your tires?” asked his dad.

“I just looked at them before I came inside, and the tread on all of them look really bad,” said Matt, “I definitely need to have to get them changed,”

“Well, just make sure you do it soon,” replied his dad, “You don’t want to get into an accident because of them.”

“I just called the repair shop while I was outside. I have an appointment to get them replaced at six o’clock in the evening tomorrow,” said Matt. “That’ll be AT LEAST $200.00 out of my savings!”

“At least you have it instead of that ‘I’ve just GOTTA have it, dad’ *stereo system,” his dad said with a sly grin. “Now let’s go help your mom with the supper before she realizes we’re in here just sitting and watching TV.”

“Good shot, dad.” Matt said laughingly. “I owe you one!”

After work the next day, Matt took his car to the repair shop to get his tires changed.

“Hello, may I help you,” asked the man behind the sales counter.

“Yes, I’d like to get my tires replaced on my car,” replied Matt.

“What is the make, model, year, and color of your car?” asked the clerk as looked down at his computer screen.

“It’s a red 2000 Pontiac Grand AM”

“And what type of tires would you like?

“I would like those high performance tires over there, but I’ll have to live with the cheaper ones like those,” said Matt as he pointed to one of the discount tire displays.

“Ok, your wait should be about 45 minutes. We’ll give you a call when you car is ready. If you’ll just give me your car keys, we will get started as soon as we can,” said the man behind the counter.

A while later, Matt heard his name being called to come to the service counter. His car was ready.

“Ok sir,” said the sales clerk, “Your total comes to $242.58.”

“Here you go sir,” said Matt as he handed the man the money.

“Here’s your change, and have a great day.”

Matt left the repair shop and walked to his car. When he looked down at his tires he was stunned to find that the expensive high performance tires had been mounted not the cheaper economy ones he had ordered.

“Wow, I can’t believe they gave me the wrong tires,” thought Matt to himself, “Oh well, it’s their fault for giving me the wrong tires. Besides, this is great blessing for me!”

Matt jumped into his car to drive home. He was about to turn on the ignition when he looked into his rear view mirror and caught sight of his reflection. He stared deep into that mirror, looking beyond his physical appearance and more at who he really was inside, and he felt a pang from his conscience. The words of Yahweh came flowing into his mind at that moment as he thought of Exodus 20:15: “You shall not steal.” Such simple words were all he needed to realize what he was doing. He realized he was stealing.

He got out of his car, went back into the repair shop and told the sales clerk they had put on the wrong tires. The sales clerk went on and on about how thankful he was that Matt told him his mistake.

“Most people would have kept on going thinking they were lucky and I might have had to pay the difference,” said the sales clerk, “That really was a great thing you did. As a thank you for your honesty here are a couple of coupons for complimentary oil changes and tire rotations”

After they changed his tires again he was about to pull out of the car lot when he got a call on his cell phone from his dad.

“Hi Dad, what’s up,” said Matt.

“Have you left the repair shop yet?” his Dad asked quickly.

“No not yet,” replied Matt, “I was held up a bit.”

“Oh that is such good news. Your Mom and I were just watching the news, and we saw that there has been a massive accident on Interstate 68. A tractor trailer jack-knifed and now there’s a thirty car pileup with traffic backed up for miles. The Interstate is blocked, so take the back roads to come home, okay.”

“Wow, that’s horrible. Thanks for letting me know.”

“It sure is horrible. We’re just glad you were still at the repair shop. You might have been in that wreckage too.”

“Your right dad; I might have been. It sounds like this was a real blessing,” said Matt, “The funny thing is that yesterday you told me that I needed to change my tires so I wouldn’t get into an accident. You sure weren’t kidding. Yahweh protected me today and I have a good story for you and Mom when I get home!”

Wow, imagine if Matt had just left with the expensive tires on his car, what could have happened. He might have been a part of that huge accident and might have been seriously injured, not to mention the damage done to his car. Making the right choices in life are not always the easiest, but when we make the right decisions, Yahweh is with us, no matter what.

Exercise: Can you think of other Scripture passages that might apply here? If you can, send them in a letter or an e-mail to us along with a short note explaining how you think they pertain to the story. We’ll print some of your passages and thoughts to help others (and the Trumans) in the future. May Yahweh bless and guide you every day!