Spotting Thieves and Rascals

“Spotting Thieves and Rascals”


Don’t judge anything before the proper time – when the Lord comes. He
will bring to light the secrets hidden in darkness and will reveal the
motives of the heart.

1 Corinthians 4:5    


Our driveway used to be the community gathering place for kids to play basketball.  

My kids had the bad habit of leaving our basketball outside. I warned them that if they didn’t bring it in at night, somebody was going to steal it.  

Sure enough – one day I looked out the window. No basketball.  


So, who took it? I had my list of suspects. When my kids would invite friends over to play, I would level my gaze at them. If you lack my ability, this may sound odd to you, but it’s almost as if I can peer into a person’s soul and know what they’re thinking. When I stare into the eyes of the neighbor kids, I notice the ones who drop their heads slightly and avert my gaze. In this way, I can quickly assess who the thieves and rascals are. 


My wife doesn’t judge people. She just loves them. When the neighbor kids come over, I’m staring at them to root out the
thieves and rascals, and she’s asking them if they would like some
cookies. I don’t think you should reward thieves and rascals by giving
chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven. But she does it anyway.  


You know, it’s bad enough that I think I can discern what’s going on in another person’s heart. What’s even worse is that, once I claim to know their thoughts and motives, I look down on them.   

is the only person who knows what’s going on in the dark, murky places
of our heart. Yet, oddly enough, he didn’t walk around with
a rock in his hand – ready to wing it at the first sinner he met.  

When a Samaritan woman with loose morals met him at Jacob’s well, he told her he knew about her past husbands and present live-in
lover. If his goal was to condemn her, he certainly didn’t have to sit
by a well at the hottest part of the day. He was sitting there because
he wanted to offer her the water of life.
When Jesus looked into the darkness of her soul, it brought out his compassion for her.   


who meet my wife leave with warm cookies in their tummies, but also
with the warm feeling that they are accepted and loved. When people meet
my soul-searching gaze, they leave with a vague feeling of guilt – like
they ought to buy me a new basketball, or something.


kids led a basketball-less life for several months. One day, as I was
cleaning out the entryway closet I found – way in the back – my kids’

The funny thing is: the neighborhood kids don’t look like thieves anymore.  


They still look like rascals, though . . . I can see it in their eyes. 

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