Judge Roberts shook his head. «I know Bruce. He’d never steal.»
«He did,» argued the prosecuting attorney. «He’s an employee of the company, handles all the money, and was the only one in the office when the cash disappeared.»
«You’re trying to send a boy to jail on circumstantial evidence. Bruce is a good, honest person who has lived in this town for years!»
The jury agreed with Judge Roberts and proclaimed the defendant, «Not guilty.»
Weeks later Bruce walked into the judge’s chambers, threw down a sack of money, and waved a handgun before the astonished man. «I did take the cash,» he announced. «If you don’t believe me, I’ll shoot myself.»
«Why did you do it?» Roberts gasped.
Bruce sat down heavily on a chair. «I worked in the treasurer’s office. One day the thought came to me that it wouldn’t be hard to take some money for myself. A day or two later the thought returned. I had no intentions of acting on those thoughts, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I even planned the robbery in my mind. Finally, one day I saw I was alone and stole it. Now I’m so embarrassed, I must shoot myself.»
«Wait,» the judge ordered. «Give me the money and leave town for good. I’ll return the cash to the company, and no one will know what really happened.»
Months later Bruce returned. «Everyone thinks I’m innocent, and I’m not. I must confess.» He did, and went to jail.
Be careful what you think, because thoughts lead to actions. «Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it» (Proverbs 4:23).