In my life B.C. (Before Christ), I did lots of things I wish I hadn’t, and frankly, can’t believe I did.
One of those things was shoplifting. I was eighteen, home from college, and shopping at Kmart. This already has a redneck flair to it doesn’t it? Don’t ask me about my thought process because I have no idea, other than the fact, I just enjoyed the thrill of stealing. That, and the fact that I had the same disease a lot of eighteen year olds have…I was an idiot.
I had money in my pocket, but I didn’t want to spend my money on earrings, a cassette tape and make up, besides, it’s not like I was stealing from a real person?!
I remember it as if it were yesterday. My friend and I walk outside, and a man comes up to him and asks if he has anything in his jacket, of course he says no. So like any good friend would do, I pretend we didn’t ride together and say, ” well, I’ll see you later Tommy!” And start jogging to my car. At least that’s what I TRY to do, before the man stops me to ask me if I have anything in my purse. Busted!
We are taken in the back of Kmart, made to empty our pockets and purse. They made us call our own parents. I tried to plead my case by telling them ” I’m eighteen, I don’t have to call my parents!” To which they replied, “it’s either your parents, or the police. ” I quickly started dialing the phone! The funny thing is, my mom didn’t believe me, she thought I was pulling a practical joke. I finally convinced her I indeed had been caught shoplifting and she, although very humiliated, came to Kmart to my rescue.
They took our pictures with a Polaroid, hung them on the wall, and told us not to come back for at least a year without our parents. And I didn’t! I’ve never been so humiliated in my whole life!
What I remember most was Mom’s reaction. Mom made me leave my car there and ride home with her. Longest ten minute ride of my life, because she didn’t say a word. Not one word. I would’ve rather she yelled and cussed me, then I could’ve made some sort of an excuse! But there was nothing but silence, which left me defenseless.
Every time I think about that day, it reminds me of this verse and Jesus’ reaction. When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
There are tons of things Jesus could’ve said to the chief priests that day. He could’ve easily ripped them a new one, but He was trusting His Father to take care of them. My mom could’ve easily ripped me a new one for embarrassing her like that but instead, she chose to be silent. She chose to let me stew in my own pot of embarrassment, and that was the wisest thing she could’ve done.
I don’t know if her thought process at the time, was to let God deal with me, but whatever it was, it worked because since then, I’ve never stolen another thing! If I accidentally take a pen from the bank, I take it back! I never want to feel that way again.
Moral of the story is, we don’t always have to defend ourselves. Sometimes we just need to leave the “ripping someone a new one” to Jesus! God is our protection and our strength. He always helps in times of trouble.Psalm 46:1