The candy dish was full. No one would notice if one little piece was missing. Besides, his sister Mary wouldn’t care. She was so nice. She would share the candy with everyone as soon as she got it. No, she wouldn’t mind if just one piece was gone…
“Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy…” sang the chorus of friends and family as Mary blew out the candles on her cake.
Suddenly Billy felt a gentle poke in his side. “Billy,” whispered Mother, “it’s time to give Mary the candy dish. Will you get it, please?”
Billy ran as fast as his little legs would carry him. Yes, there it was, safe and sound in its special hiding place. He carefully brought it out and presented it to Mary.
“Oh Billy, thank you!” said Mary.
“Um, Billy,” said Mother, “did you drop some candy on the way?”
Billy glanced behind himself. No, there was no candy on the floor anywhere. He looked at the candy dish again. It wasn’t quite as full as he had thought. But he hadn’t thought a few more pieces of candy would be missed!
Mother squarely looked at him. “Billy, do you know anything about the missing candy?”
Billy hesitated. He didn’t dare look into Mother’s eyes. Then a tear trickled down his cheek. “I’m sorry, Mother, really I am.” He knew he had no way to repay what he had taken. He began to cry…
Billy longingly looked at the cookie jar. Then he glanced at Mother—but Mother caught his eye.
“Billy, remember when Mary forgave you for eating her birthday candy?” asked Mother.
“God forgives us for much more than that. We sin against Him all the time!”
Billy kept nodding. He knew he sinned a lot. But he also knew he didn’t want to sin.
“We must think about how much God has forgiven us and delivered us from our sins. Then we will be thankful. And when we’re thankful, then we will be obedient.”
Billy nodded again. Yes, he was truly thankful! He thought about that as he went into the next room to find a toy. And he forgot all about the cookie jar.