Have you ever dreamed up elaborate schemes to steal things from stores? No?…Um…really?…no one else does that?…I mean…me either…that would take a pretty deranged mind, wouldn’t it? If I were that type of person, here are a few great plans to get whatever you want from Wal*Mart:
Plan 1- “Shortchanged” blah blah blah…money in the register…blah blah blah…they give you your change…blah blah blah…the register has considerably more money than it should have…blah blah blah…walk away with $10 every time.
Plan 2- “Dual Security Tags” blah blah blah…forget to disable the electronic security tags…blah blah blah…detectors at the doors beep all the time…blah blah blah…checks the receipt and scans your bag…blah blah blah…$8 universal remote you paid for probably caused it…blah blah blah…pockets full of SD cards.
Plan 3- “Double Down” blah blah blah…two front entrances…blah blah blah…dedicated electronics check-out…blah blah blah…take it out to your car…blah blah blah…pick up the same product…blah blah blah…return the original one.
I actually did type out three fairly easy ways to get free merchandise/money from Wal*Mart, but then thought better of posting it publicly. I could foresee a rash of thefts that were all traced back to me and I don’t think I would like prison food. Besides, my mom would probably disown me.
The point is that I really scare myself sometimes. I am generally a good person. I haven’t consciously stolen anything from a store in my entire life and I definitely don’t plan on making a habit of it, but I still have these thoughts that prove I am capable of it. I can’t stand thieves and there is no way I would want to stoop to that level, but I have those desires inside of me. Even if I don’t want to act on them, they are there.
This is what Bible scholars call a “sin nature” and Paul summed up the struggle that Christians have with it in Romans 7:15-19 (ESV).
15For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.
I guess I just need to be reminded of my own natural inclinations occasionally and that without God changing me, I would be acting on those desires to benefit myself even if I know it’s wrong.