Carl and Benny were playmates and had many good times together. When one got into trouble, the other got into trouble with him. Here is what happened once.

These boys visited the shoe repair shop so that Carl might have new rubber heels put on his shoes. On the way home Benny told Carl what he had discovered. "There is a tree of peaches back of the shoe repair shop, and they are ripe enough to eat. Let's go over and get some." "That wouldn't be right," Carl replied, yet his mouth watered for some of that fruit. "That would be stealing, wouldn't it?" "Oh, we won't take very many, just enough to eat. I've got a basket just the right size, and we'll go over there after dark and get what we want of them."

Picture"But suppose we get caught? They'll send us to jail." Benny laughed, "Oh, we won't get caught. Don't worry about that. I'll show you how to do the trick and get away with it." Now that his fear of being caught was allayed Carl was more willing to take the peaches. The temptation was big and he yielded to it.

That night after it was pitch dark the boys crept through the tall grass and reached the tree without being seen. Carl held the basket while Benny picked the peaches. As soon as the basket was full, they crept back through the grass, and made their way to Carl's barn where they intended to hide the peaches.

PictureBy the time they reached the barn, Carl was feeling very uneasy. No one had seen them but that didn't make any difference with him. "Benny, we are thieves," he declared. "But no one saw us," Benny replied. "We know it, however, whether others do or not. Because others don't know about it, doesn't alter the fact at all. We are guilty just the same." The two boys were on the verge of a quarrel and the argument grew stronger. "What are you going to do about it now?" Benny asked. "You have stolen them." "I am going to take my share back in the morning, and confess to Mr. Brown. I don't intend to have this hanging over my head all the time." Benny called Carl a quitter, and other names, but Carl remained firm in his decision.

Early the next forenoon, he entered the shoe repair shop with a sack under his arm. "Hello, young man," the shoe repairman said. "What can I do for you today?" "I have some peaches here:" "Ha, ha!" the shoe repairman said. "So you brought back those you took last night. Where is Benny with his peaches?" Carl opened his mouth wide with astonishment. "Who told you?" he finally managed to say. "A silent witness," Mr. Brown said. "Come with me and I will show you."

Out under the peach tree Mr. Brown kneeled down and pointed to some tracks in the soft earth. "Compare that track with those heels I put on for you yesterday. I put some on Benny's shoes last week. I only had two pairs of those so I knew at once who was guilty. I'm glad you brought them back. I wish you would find Benny and bring him here. I have something to say to each of you."

Carl was glad he confessed his guilt, otherwise while he was thinking no one knew, Mr. Brown would have known and looked upon him as a thief. Carl's sin found him out almost at once. "And be sure your sin will find you out." (Numbers 32:23). He had no trouble finding Benny and together they went to Mr. Brown.

"Boys, I could have had you arrested for stealing, but that is not my intention," Mr. Brown told them, "I want to talk to you concerning the real cause of your action." So he told them how we are born in sin and shapen in iniquity, and that "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23), and therefore need the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior. He alone can make us free from sin and enable us to do right and walk in righteousness.

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth
and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
(Proverbs 28:13)