Monday, September 1, 2014
Thieves can change
Is it less grave to steal silver than gold, because silver is less valuable than gold? From the point of view of the victim, the loss of silver is less grave. But for the perpetration of the crime, there is no difference. To those who commit crimes, the sin lies in the attitude that causes the action, not the action itself. A person who can rob someone’s silver will not balk at the opportunity of stealing their gold. If he does not steal for a period, it is probably because no opportunity arises or because he is ill. Thus if a person is to change his actions, his attitudes must change first. And a person will only change his attitudes if he realizes that his present attitudes bring misery to himself, as well as to others. Thus we must appeal to his self-interest, showing that by harming others he is cutting himself off from human fellowship; and revealing to him that his heart is hungry for fellowship, not for gold and silver. If we show that the way of righteousness is also the way of happiness, then even the hardest of criminals will be eager to follow it.