The boys wanted to go on one final trip to the pool. We got there early and had the best seats on the end. My chair was near two sets of pop & candy machines. While reading my book, I heard a group of young kids by the machines. First they were checking out each one, next they began to slowly bang on them, and then they started to hit the "change" slot repeatedly. As I watched, at first wondering if they lost their change, one boy tells another boy to get a shoe. The boys comes back with a tennis shoe and they begin to hit the change slot over and over with this shoe. I began to observe that no adults were checking up on these children, and so I casually walked over. I first asked them if there was a problem in case they lost their change. I asked them what they were up to and they honestly replied that they were trying to get change out of this machine. I reminded them that what they were doing was stealing. As I questioned them, two of the boys dropped their head in shame as one boy began to conjure up this lie that he was trying to get change out of the machine, just so he could give it back to the pool staff. I once again reminded them it was stealing and asked them if they were here with their parents. These young 7 or 8 years olds were there at the pool alone, with no one to report to. They were free as they could be to do what they wanted, since the pool staff had so many kids and not enough eyes to keep track of what everyone is up to.
I sent those boys on their way reminding them that what they were doing was wrong. Later as I was still reading my book, I look over at the other set of pop machines. There, two boys had found a large, thick, metal wire, and were trying to pick the lock or shove it into the change slot. Once again noticing that no one was around, I walked up to the boys. Repeating the same questions, I asked them what they were doing. Yet again they were honest and said they were trying to get some money. I reminded them that this was stealing and that God would not approve of their actions. I once again sent the second set of boys off on their way, reminding them where I was sitting. I could see it all over their faces that if I wasn't sitting right there to watch, they would have loved to come back and attempt it one more time.
Accountability! This world has no desire for it. If we can get away with it, why not try it. There is no right or wrong anymore, it is how far can we go without getting caught! In the wonderful world of entertainment, television use to have guidelines that would protect not only the young innocent minds, but understood the Biblical lines of right and wrong. Today, it is not what shouldn't be watched, it is how much can we get away with. The networks don't try to line up with any type of moral accountability, for that has been thrown out the window. We now see shows where there's more bleeps than actual words. Soon, those bleeps will no longer be there and all will be acceptable as the lines between good and evil become blurred.
We as humans don't want to be told what to do. We want to have our personal rights and freedoms, and we certainly don't want to be accountable for anything. What would have happened if I had let those boys continue to try and steal or break those machines? What would happen if no one ever told you what was right and wrong? We don't like to be preached to and want do our own thing, yet we should not be allowed to do whatever feels best to us. God gives us His word with clear guidelines on what is right and what is wrong. We are to read it, learn it, and share it with others.
As these young boys had no one to be accountable to, they let their freedom lead them into a path of deceit. As the world does what is right in their own eyes, we as Christians are to show them the path to Godliness, and remind them that someday we all will be responsible to answer to God and be accountable for own actions.
Galatians 6:1-2 "Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."