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"Cheating Yourself" - - by Rev. Weldon Bares

I read the other day about Arthur Barry, a famous jewel thief from the 1920's in the Boston area. He was quite famous. Or infamous. The only people that he stole from were the most affluent people in the city, the richest of the rich.

Finally one night, he was captured by the police. In the process, he was shot three times and fell through a glass window. He was in terrible pain and said, “I ain’t gonna do this anymore.”

He was tried, convicted and sent to prison. Twenty years later, he was finally released. He went to live in a quiet town in New England. Everybody in the town liked him. He was a good citizen.

However, the local press discovered who he was. Soon, the national media came in droves. A reporter asked him a question, “Mr. Barry, you robbed many famous and wealthy people as a jewel thief. Who did you steal from the most?”

Arthur Barry quickly said, “That’s the easiest question that I’ve ever been asked. The person that I stole from the most was Arthur Barry. You see, I could’ve been a successful businessman, a baron on Wall Street, and a contributing member to society, but instead I chose a life of a thief, and spent two-thirds of my adult life behind bars.” He cheated himself.

That is what happens when we break the moral laws of God. We are hurt more than anyone else. The Apostle Paul warns us, “Be not deceived. God is not mocked. Whatsoever a person sows, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)

May we learn a lesson today from Arthur Barry, the famous jewel thief.

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