by M. Kenneth Lyon

This content is part of a series.

Prospering with Integrity (7 of 10)
Series: Taking Control of Your Life
M. Kenneth Lyon
Exodus 20:15
August 22, 1999

Well, at last, we finally got to a commandment that none of us are guilty of breaking! I mean, when's the last time you robbed a bank? I hope it's been some time. I mean, surely this is the easiest commandment to keep. "Thou shalt not steal." In fact, it's such a straightforward commandment, I really did think about just coming before you, having the Scripture read, and said, "OK, it says 'don't steal' so don't, and we're done." Do I hear an Amen? Fat chance! Yeah. You know, I would've done that. I honestly think I would have done that if it weren't for this little tiny thing called the fudge factor. And the fudge factor is where we get into trouble because of the gray areas that we like to rationalize in our lives that cause us to be less than the person God dreams us to be, a person of integrity, value, judgment, justice, and equity toward all persons. We fudge on things. It goes all the way back to when we were kids. Regardless of our parentage, our family of origin, I'm sure there were certain things that were put before us as right and wrong. And we as children tested them. As a child-- this will take some fortitude, especially for those of you who are parents--as a child, did any of you ever take something that did not belong to you? If you did that as a child, would you raise your hand? Thank you. This sermon is for the rest of you.

Growing up in a rural area, there was a rite of passage for young men. It was a rural area in which the culture used chewing tobacco or snuff. Now guys used chewing tobacco. Now my family of origin did not use tobacco, chewing tobacco, or snuff. My parents didn't, my grandparents didn't, my best friend Steve with whom I trekked all over Davidson Co., his parents didn't use it, his grandparents didn't use it. But everybody else did, and we felt that to be real men we needed to know how to do that. So ...

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