Eddie wanted to play in the rain, but his raincoat was too small. If only he had his big brother's cool camouflage raincoat. That would solve his problem.
Eddie poked his head into Dylan's room. "Dylan? Can I wear your raincoat?"
Dylan didn't answer. He was still asleep. What if Eddie took Dylan's raincoat as his own? Dylan needed a new one anyway. It wasn't stealing if Eddie asked first, right?
"Can I have your raincoat?" Eddie asked. He took Dylan's snoring as a yes. He grabbed the raincoat and scurried out to the backyard. Eddie splashed in every mud puddle. He didn't hear the door open a few minutes later.
"That's my raincoat!"
Eddie felt sick to his stomach. "You gave it to me!"
"No, you stole it!"
Eddie stepped back and tripped. The raincoat made a ripping sound as Eddie fell down. Dylan ran inside. Before Eddie could stand, Dylan and Mom were at the door. "Eddie, please come here," Mom said. Eddie trudged over. The tear in the coat went all the way down the side. "Why did you steal Dylan's coat?"
Eddie shook his head. "I didn't!"
"Yes, he did!" Dylan said.
Mom shushed Dylan. "Eddie, you acted like it was yours. Isn't that stealing?" Eddie hung his head. "Do you know what Jesus says about stealing?" asked Mom.
"It's bad? I know one of the Ten Commandments says not to steal."
Mom nodded. "Instead of stealing, Jesus tells us to give. He even says that if someone wants to take your shirt, you should give them your coat too. He gave His own life to save us, even though we didn't deserve it, and He tells us to give to others in the same way. Stealing is the opposite of what we're called to do as His followers."
Eddie handed the raincoat back to Dylan. "I'm sorry I took this."
Dylan shook his head. "You keep it. It's ripped now anyway."
No one kept the camouflage raincoat. Eddie went back to his small coat, and Dylan got a new one. But after that morning, Eddie started giving things to Dylan, and Dylan started giving things to Eddie. One thing Eddie knew for sure was he wouldn't be stealing any more raincoats. He wanted to give like Jesus.
-Becca WierwilleHOW ABOUT YOU?
Have you ever taken something that didn’t belong to you? How did you feel about it afterward? Sometimes we think stealing something we really want will make us happy, but true joy doesn’t come from things. Joy comes from Jesus, who gave His life for us and who teaches us to show others His kindness, generosity, and love.
TODAY'S KEY VERSE: Ephesians 4:28 (KJV)
If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. (NLT)