Friday, March 31, 2017

Security Takes a Holiday: Part 2

I’ve been extremely pleased with so many people taking an interest in last week’s Daily Favor challenge, and am not surprised at all the varying viewpoints on the “security breach” issue. 

Should my husband and I have protected the newly “sharp dressed man” in stolen duds with scripture to cover up his sin as James 5:20 suggested?  Was this really a morality or integrity problem?  By now you have decided if hubby was a tattletale or being an informant for a good cause. 

As promised I’ll give you what I felt was the actual case based on scripture, but also want to “inform” you that this post is sandwiched between two incidents that happened.  The last part will be revealed next week. Hope you like a good intrigue as it gets better! 

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What is a snitch?
Is a tattletale the same as a snitch? 

What does the Bible say about being a snitch, tattletale or informer?  I suppose a good place to begin would be to define the terms.  For the most part they are fairly similar.   

A snitch is someone who informs an authority of behavior they have witnessed, and society would almost always label them as a bad person. Ouch!  According to that definition dear hubby would definitely be labeled a snitch indeed.  I don’t think we want to rest in this bus stop thinking it was that simple do you?   

To be fair, the question of morality being the issue is usually because somewhere along the line there is a conflict of interest between two or more parties.  When I was growing up, a snitch or tattletale is what we called a sibling when they squealed on us.  In their eyes they saw the discrepancy as an issue of telling the truth or fibbing.  Thankfully mom didn’t think too highly of the person who did the “telling” when it was for vengeance sake. 

On the other side of the coin like in the case of Judas the disciple who betrayed Jesus, he was betraying a confidence for his own benefit.  Literally it was for a better financial deal.  Apparently the favor he received from Jesus wasn’t enough for him and being a snitch seemed more profitable.   

Morals, loyalty or integrity didn’t matter to Judas aka “follower of Christ”.  We know how that worked out for him. (Read Matthew 27:3-10) 
Do you think when Peter denied he knew Jesus that this slipped his mind?  Or was denying him not the same as being a rat fink? 

Scriptures on Being a Tattletale 

Let’s take a look at some scripture verses that are related to what God refers to as being a tattletale. 

The first one tells us that there has to be witnesses, not just one person but at least two people that got the low down on what happened.  In a court of law this could be questioned as hear-say or alleged and not actual fact that a crime has taken place.

“One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established.” (Deuteronomy 19:15 NKJV) 

Were there two witnesses that saw the clothing being worn out of the store? Yes.  However, the man didn’t sin against us but the store and shareholders of the company.  We weren’t obligated to say anything since it wasn’t an issue that would have been brought before a congregation.  

 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.   But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more,

 that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.   And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church.
But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.” (Matthew 18:15-17 NKJV) 

Are we satisfied with this? We’ll keep digging for answers.

A Snitch for the King 

If we flip back into the pages of the Old Testament there are quite a few records where people informed on someone with the intent of causing evil or harm to them.  The Bible doesn’t call them a snitch, but does map out the crimes committed by each of them. 

We don’t have to read far into the book of Genesis to find evil deeds, snitching, lying, betrayal, backbiting and fallen morals.  I’d like for us to take a look at some lesser known snitches and informers starting with the Ziphites.  (See 1 Samuel chapters 23-26) 
They were people that out and out hated the beloved shepherd boy God loved, known as David.  Although he became the King’s son-in-law, Saul hated David with all his heart and didn’t hold back on his feelings.  He hired anyone and every greedy soul to locate David as he continually fled for his life. 

They tracked him down with the promise of being rewarded by King Saul, but never realized that through prayer the favor of God promise worked as a shield around David. (Psalm 5:12 and Psalm 54) 

“For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield.”
 (Psalm 5:12 NKJV) 

Young David’s troubles didn’t stop there, when it came to people snitching on him, as he hid from the crazed King.  Unknown to Doeg the Edomite, God was watching all he did.   Even in the massacre of infants to priests, Doeg never could catch David.  

Snitching Backfires on the King 

I believe if I mention Daniel and the lion’s den, most people would be able to tell you that he lived through that ordeal, but I wonder if they know how he got there in the first place. 

Now the Bible tells us that Daniel was a righteous soul in good standing with God and man.  In fact King Darius was so pleased with his favored “slave in captivity” that he made him one of three governors over the satraps (one hundred and twenty protective officers over the Persian Empire providences who reported to the governors. See Daniel 6)   

After the King made Daniel a governor, he thought about getting rid of the other two and letting Daniel handle the entire realm.  Well that got the others in a jealous tizzy and the whole lot tried everything they could to find fault with the faithful servant so they could snitch on him.   

When they couldn’t find a single thing to report, someone got the bright idea to have the King sign a decree outlawing the petitioning to man or praying to God for a mere thirty days.  What could it hurt the King thought … it’s only one month?  

It was signed and when Daniel was spotted making his daily rounds of prayer to God which went against the decree, King Darius had no choice but to keep his vow by committing the righteous man to death.  Something wonderful and miraculous happened that night. 

The King couldn’t sleep, but fasted and paced all night hoping the God of Daniel would deliver him.  When morning came he fled as fast as he could to the lion’s den calling out to Daniel.  Elated he found him alive!  

God changed the King’s heart and with gladness he became a believer declaring there was no other God.  Those that snitched … let’s say the lions ate well that day. (Daniel 6)  Once more snitching didn’t work out for the informants.   

The Morality Handbook

Another thing that we are warned against in God’s Word is spending time with or getting involved with snitches or anyone who plots to do evil.  What about the other side of this?  Would not reporting the incident mean that we collaborated with the thief unawares making us thieves as well? 

“Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV) 

Here is the part that I believe is to be the answer in this particular incident.  One thing that I always have stored in my memory bank is what the Lord said about doing “good” for someone.  If we know to do good and have the power to do it but don’t, it is a sin to us. (Proverbs 3:27 and James 4:17) 

Was reporting the “alleged” theft “good” according to God’s morality code handbook (the Bible)?  Yes, and this is why.  If we have any information that will protect an innocent person or company, we are to share any information we have with those in authority, even if that means being called a “snitch.”  

What Would Jesus Do? 

Considering the source (my husband) we know that there was no malice, jealousy or motive that was intended for ratting out the “store king” in his new clothes.  He wasn’t trying to catch the man in a trap to squeal on him.  My husband had nothing to prove, but as a God fearing man was driven to protect the store for loss and the gentleman by covering his sin if he would have permitted it. 

Information was all he was giving, and the management failed to act on what was provided.  Whether or not their bosses let them go for allowing such a thing to happen we can only imagine.     

Do you feel that was an act of undeserved favor on their part?  Was it compassion or simply their way of justifying it as a “write-off” in taxes?  If the world could forgive such a thing, what does that say about believers? 

As for us, in no way should we judge the bathroom quick change artist, but when encountered by the situation follow the Law of Jesus in saying without blame, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”   After all not condoning the law breaking act, we don’t know the reasoning behind his behavior. 

Now for the off the rack guy, I’m sad to say that there are a lot of people who would think, “Yeah, that guy got one over on the big department store.  Good for him.” Rooting for the person who sinned against a company is actually shouting for joy that the businessman suffered a loss.

God certainly isn’t pleased when people suffer loss at the hand of another.  Come on, in the end doesn’t that cost all of us who shop in any store when prices begin to soar?  Then we wonder why and complain. 

Jesus would grant grace and say without placing condemnation, “Go and sin no more” or “Forgive them for they know not what they do?” (John 8:7,11 and Luke 23:34)  If the man were caught we should not be rejoicing nor finding delight in seeing the person punished.  

God doesn’t like it so we shouldn’t either.  The desired outcome of any situation is that no matter how it happens, man would be restored and reconciled with God.  (2 Corinthians 5:20 and 2 Timothy 2:24-25) 

Where Does that Leave Us? 

That’s the same question my husband and I asked.  Out of all the people who could have seen this, why us Lord?

This Week’s Challenge:
Passing the Morality Test 

How did you react when you read Security Takes a Holiday part one?  Did you find yourself cheering for the man who received the unmerited favor from the superstore?   

Were you appalled that someone could do such an act and get away with it right in front of witnesses?  Or did you feel that you too would become the “rat” or “snitch” if you found yourself in this situation?   

Now that you’ve read both sides to what God says about a snitch, tattletale or “rat fink” do you feel you are equipped to make the right decision if it presents itself? 

Our challenge this week is to set these same questions to rest in our heart.  

Whenever a situation arises that causes you to question which decision to make, before taking action ask these four things: 

1 – Holy Spirit what should I do? 

2 – What does the Word of God say on moral issues like this?

3 – What am I supposed to learn from this?

4 – What lesson are you trying to teach me Lord? 

The Lord will never miss an opportunity to stretch and form us into His likeness so that we can overcome any circumstance and do the right thing.  It may even be to show someone favor when they least deserve or expect it. 

How did hubby know what to do, it’s not like he had time to take a prayer break in the midst of his hundred yard dash?  My husband already knew what Jesus would do because he knows the ways of Christ through fellowship in Bible study and prayer.  

The unction of the Holy Spirit led his actions.  If the man were apprehended his debt would have been canceled with my husband paying the price of the garments.  Isn’t that what Jesus did for us when he canceled our sin debt without casting guilt stones at our feet?  

In the future when God gives the opening to show Jesus to others, do it and let the Lord determine the reward with His unending grace and unmerited favor. 

That’s not all folks … 

Be sure to come back next week to see what else happened that day, in the same store again at the restroom bench!  You won’t be disappointed … bank on it! 
(Why yes Watson, that’s a clue!) 

Grace of GOD by Keith Getty & Jonathan Rea
Performed by Kristen Getty, Margaret Becker & Joanne Hogg

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Until next time, have you witnessed unmerited favor? 

“Never question how I allow grace (favor) to be given.”
Jesus Christ

*Unless noted, the names in articles are changed to protect the individual(s) privacy. 

Note: Emphasis is given in some scriptures to show clarity or understanding and is not to take away from the inspirited Word of God. 

When used, the words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives. 

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