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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

To Steal or Not To Steal

Yesterday, Katherine Coble asked the question,
"Is it stealing to open a bag of something like chips or cookies or cough drops and eat them during your shopping trip?"
This was apparently prompted by observations of another shopper. She had her opinion on the matter, but was curious what her FB Friends thought on the issue.

About half of the responders thought it was fine as long as you paid before you left. I don't think that's the question. The question is did you steal by opening the bag and eating during your shopping trip?

If you've interacted with me for any length of time, you know how much food occupies my thoughts. You should also have gathered how extremely possessive I am. This question touches on both issues. I have no doubt at all that eating food that isn't mine is stealing. 

I'm not condemning those who've done it. My greater concern is how easily rationalizing comes to us as a society.

"Well, it's fine as long as you pay before you leave." No. Eating something that isn't yours is stealing. You can pay for it afterward, but it was stolen until you paid. That's an "end justifies the means" argument. Those never fly with me.

"Well, the clerk didn't say anything/stop me, so it's fine." No. Bad behavior doesn't justify more bad behavior. If you take something that isn't yours, you steal. It doesn't matter if someone calls you on it. This is the same rationalization we use when running a stop sign because no other cars are there. The law doesn't stop existing because no one sees you break it.

"Well, I really needed it because I was having a (insert medical condition)." If you are that likely to have such a medical condition, why aren't you carrying whatever you need with you? I'm borderline hypoglycemic (one of the reasons I'm so concerned about food). I promise you, I have snacks with me at all times. I don't need to steal from a store because I'm experiencing low blood sugar.

Again, I'm not condemning. I'm observing. As a gatekeeper/guardian/ anti-change agent, I will always call out b.s. And those answers sounded my b.s. horn.

Proverbs 30:7-9

Two things I asked of You,
Do not refuse me before I die:
Keep deception and lies far from me,
Give me neither poverty nor riches;
Feed me with the food that is my portion,
That I not be full and deny You and say, “Who is the Lord?”
Or that I not be in want and steal,
And profane the name of my God. (NASB)

Happy Hump Day, dear readers.

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