I was 19 years old. I got out of work after 5pm and the bank had already closed for the day. I needed a little money out of my meager savings account to fill up my gas tank, as well as have a little entertainment money for the evening. My only option for money withdrawal was from the ATM machine.
I drove to the bank and walked through the first set of doors and turned right to the ATM machine. I dug out my ATM card from my wallet and slid it into the card reader. I punched in my PIN number and answered the standard questions:
Savings or Checking: Savings
Withdraw or Deposit: Withdraw
$10.00, $20.00, $50.00, $100: $20.00
The ATM machine was processing my request and when the little door opened to give me my money, to my surprise was a little gift left by someone before me. I was standing in front of an unmarked envelope with a wad of cash inside. Someone either didn’t know how to use the ATM machine, or it was a trap to catch a thief.
I stood there frozen in thought. Do I grab this envelope and my $20.00 and walk away? Do I leave the envelope where it is and take my $20.00 and walk away? It’s after hours, how would I let someone at the bank know there is improperly placed money in the ATM machine?
I was 19 years old. It was a hard decision; my savings balance was low. “Who didn’t know how to use an ATM machine?” I said under my breath.
I stood there frozen in thought, my heart beating faster, and little beads of sweat formed on my brow. I remembered the camera inside the ATM machine was watching me. I am sure if authorities reviewed the tape, they would see me standing there for at least 6 minutes for a transaction that took no more than 2 minutes.
I was 19 years old; my morals kicked in and kept me from being tempted.
Exodus 20:15 “You shall not steal.”