Reading a collection of hypothetical situations reminded me of the type of questions my Sunday school teachers used to ask. I remember those particular questions really shaping the way I behaved in life, for better or worse, and as a result (though I don’t think I’ll find myself in any of these situations anytime soon) it does tend to make this collection all the more compelling.
Two young men, brothers, had got into serious trouble. They were secretly leaving town in a hurry and needed money. Karl, the older one, broke into a store and stole a thousand dollars. Bob, the younger one, went to a retired old man who was known to help people in town. He told the man that he was very sick and that he needed a thousand dollars to pay for an operation. Bob asked the old man to lend him the money and promised that he would pay him back when he recovered. Really Bob wasn’t sick at all, and he had no intention of paying the man back. Although the old man didn’t know Bob very well, he lent him the money. So Bob and Karl skipped town, each with a thousand dollars.
Here are some of the questions to consider:
- Which is worse, stealing like Karl or cheating like Bob? and why?
- In general, why should a promise be kept?
- Is it important to keep a promise to someone you don’t know well or will never see again? Why or why not?
- Was the old man being irresponsible by lending Bob the money? Why or why not?