Recently, I was watching an episode of the reality television show called “Mystery Diners,” which caused me to ponder the question of who decides what is right and what is wrong in life? Before I get into discussing my concerns on this issue, for those of you not familiar with the “Mystery Diners” television show, here’s a quick recap of how it works.
Restaurant owners who suspect that their employees are misbehaving and cheating them out of profits contact the “Mystery Diners” team to investigate. Charles Stiles, the head of the investigative company, initiates a sting operation to see if there is any credence to an owner’s concerns.
Stiles will set up hidden surveillance cameras in the restaurant, and then plant members of his team on staff at the restaurant to report on the activity of the other employees. Even further, Stiles sends his own people into the restaurant to pose as customers, which often exposes unknown problems. With constant unseen monitoring, Stiles is able to determine if anything at the restaurant is afoot (and it usually is).
In general, the “Mystery Diners” show follows a format of monitoring the restaurant employees, discovering their undesirable (and sometimes criminal) behavior, and confronting the employees about their wrongdoings. When challenged by Stiles and the restaurant owners with evidence of their errant behavior, the employees have demonstrated varied responses. Some are sorry for their offenses, while others are belligerent admitting no wrong.
In this particular episode, there were two employees who were observed doing some radical stealing from the restaurant. They were caught red-handed, with evidence of their thievery clearly on tape. Yet, their response was to deny that they had done anything wrong, justifying the theft by claiming they had a right to cheat the owner because they needed more money.
This is what prompted my question of who determines what is right and what is wrong. Somehow, these two employees felt okay about stealing from their employer because they simply needed more money. Really??? Does the end justify the means? Is it all right to steal from someone just because you don’t have enough? Or should we find more appropriate means to supplement the lack?
For me, the answer to life’s questions is always to look to the Bible, which is my instruction manual for maneuvering through the difficulties we all face in life. In it, I find principles, as determined by God, of how to resolve varying situations. In this case, what immediately comes to mind is “Thou shall not steal.” That’s the absolute. Stealing should not be an option. And, I’ve learned if I follow God’s ways rather than my own, He’ll help me uncover other acceptable solutions.
But, it seems, in today’s world people often don’t want absolutes regarding right and wrong. I’ve noticed that some people have abandoned God’s principles only to determine their own way of resolving life’s difficulties. And, I know that this doesn’t always work out in a positive manner. I believe that without God’s knowledge of right vs. wrong, our society becomes vulnerable to lawlessness. Is it possible that this is what we see happening in today’s world with all the reckless killings?
I’m quite certain that God has a more surefire way of solving our difficulties than we can devise on our own. Perhaps it’s time to return to God’s standards. And, of course, God always calls us to base whatever we do on the benchmark of unconditional love. This is how I’ve been taught, and it’s also how I’ve raised Rebecca. I think these values are worthy of passing on to future generations. I hope you’ll agree…..I’m just saying.
Please join our U Love chain here.