Will I Go To Jail?Sin has consequences. Jesus died for our sin, and we can be forgiven. A children's story.
"Mom, if someone took a chocolate bar without paying and the police found out, would they go to jail?" asked Tyler.
Mom looked in the rear view mirror of the car and saw her six-year-old son licking melted chocolate off his fingers. "Is there a reason why you're asking me this?" asked Mom.
"I just want to know what kind of things they send you to jail for," said Tyler.
"Well, stealing is a sin and the Bible says that the penalty for sin is death," said Mom.
Tyler was frightened. "For stealing a little chocolate bar!" exclaimed Tyler.
"To God, it doesn't matter if it's a "little sin" or a "big sin". It's sin and Jesus paid a huge price for it. Do you know what that was?" asked Mom.
"His life," said Tyler.
"That's right. However, because Jesus died for our sins, we can ask God for forgiveness," said Mom.
"So does that mean when you say you're sorry, everything is okay?" asked Tyler.
"Many times there are consequences because of the sin. For example, if you stole a car and damaged it, the judge might send you to jail and order you to pay to fix the car. You can ask God for forgiveness and he will forgive you, but often, there still is a penalty," said Mom.
"Oh," said Tyler and he hung his head down.
Mom stopped the car. She looked at Tyler and saw an empty wrapper on the floor. "Tyler, is there something you want to tell me before the problem gets worse?" asked Mom.
Tyler pointed to the empty wrapper on the floor and began to cry. "I really wanted that chocolate bar, but you said I couldn't have it. When no one was looking, I put it in my pocket. I ate it, but it didn't taste as good as I thought it would," he said.
Mom moved to the back seat beside Tyler. "That's because you knew it was wrong. You disobeyed me and you stole the chocolate bar. The more you sin, the worse it gets. But you're on the right track because you confessed to what you did wrong. What do you need to do now?" she asked.
"Ask for forgiveness," said Tyler.
"Yes. Who should you ask forgiveness from?" asked Mom.
"You and God," said Tyler.
"Yes, but there's one more person," said Mom.
Tyler was puzzled. "Who?" he asked.
"We have to go back to the store and you have to say you're sorry and pay for the chocolate bar," said Mom.
"I do?" said Tyler.
"Yes. Since you ate the chocolate bar you can't return it. Paying for it is the right thing to do," said Mom.
"But I don't have any money," said Tyler.
"I will lend you the money but you will have to pay me back. Remember what I said. You can be forgiven, but many times there is a penalty to pay," said Mom.
"But Mom, I'm scared. Will I go to jail?" asked Tyler.
"No honey, they won't put you in jail for that. But it's a good lesson to remember if you're tempted to steal something again," said Mom.
Mom, I'm sorry, I should have obeyed you," said Tyler.
"I forgive you and I love you, but you are going to lose your computer privileges for the rest of the week. Now, let's pray and ask for forgiveness. After, we'll go back to the store and make things right," said Mom.
Maria Sinkler is the Children's Corner feature editor for Northern Light Magazine.
Originally published in the Northern Light Magazine, March/April 2005.
Used with permission of the author. Copyright © 2005 Christianity.ca.