“The Thief Who Robbed Himself”
Back in 1887 in a small neighborhood grocery store, a middle-aged gentleman named, Emanuel Nenger, gave the assistant a $20 note to pay for the turnip greens he was purchasing.
When the assistant placed the note in the cash drawer, she noticed that some of the ink from the $20 came off on her hands, which were wet from wrapping the turnip greens.
She’d known Mr. Nenger for years and was shocked! She ponders, “Is this man giving me a counterfeit $20 note?” She dismissed the thought immediately and gave him his change.
But $20 was a lot of money in 1887, so she notified the police who, after procuring a search warrant, went to Emanuel Nenger’s home where they found in his attic the tools he was using to reproduce the counterfeit $20 notes. They found an artist’s easel, paint brushes, and paints which Nenger was using to meticulously paint the counterfeit money. He was a master artist!
The police also found three portraits that Nenger had painted – paintings that ultimately sold at public auction for just little over $16,000!
The irony was that it took him almost as much time to paint a $20 note as it did to paint the three portraits that sold for more than $5,000 each.
The man that robbed Emanuel Nenger was himself!
We do the same whenever we cheat or break the law – including God’s laws – for illegitimate gain. While most of us wouldn’t rob another person of his or her material possessions, it is very easy to rob a person’s reputation through idle gossip.
We also rob and cheat ourselves when we don’t give to God and to others in need . . . whether it is of our time, talents, resources or love.
“Be sure your sin will find you out.” Numbers 32:23
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