Faithful In That Which Is Least
by Ken Gardner

Edward Bennett is 28 years old. He's been on death row for eight years. He was only 19 when he and a buddy tried to rob a convenience store so they could buy more drugs. Bennett was so drunk that he passed out before and after the robbery and says he doesn't remember shooting the clerk, a young newly-wed, in the face. He and his buddy were so drunk they couldn't even get the cash register open after the murder and left the store empty-handed. Bennett was sentenced to death, and his friend, sentenced to life in prison without parole, was murdered by an inmate within a year after going to prison.

Ironically, Bennett came from a middle-class, religious family. He even went to seminary, and was president of his class. His father was a university administrator, his mother a stay-at-home mom. What went wrong? Drugs. He started drinking at 12, was smoking marijuana at 15, and by 17 was "snorting, smoking and injecting from a quarter- to a half-gram of cocaine a week, along with the rest of the drugs he routinely abused."

And it wasn't just the drugs. There's a culture that goes with drugs. Drugs are "a door to the dark side," Bennett once said. "I went from going to school [and] church to listening to music, Ouija boards, to tarot cards, to astrology, to satanic books, to the occult . . ." Bennett wrote a former Sunday school teacher. He quit even trying. A tenth-grade report card was all F's. He showed it to all friends. They said, "Straight F's. Cool." (Some friends!)

We all know the dangers of drugs and condemn them. But we need to continually remind ourselves that down-and-out drug addicts and skid-row drunks and death-row murderers aren't born that way. They started down the slippery slope to personal destruction by cutting a few corners, experimenting a bit, slacking off, and making a few, seemingly small mistakes. "I want to fit in, I want others to notice me, I don't want to be a nobody," they say to themselves, and one thing leads to another and before long they're capable of unimaginable evil. Please don't let it happen to you. Stay far away from "every form of evil" (I Thessalonians 5:22), "hating even the garment spotted by the flesh" (Jude 23). "Ye that love the Lord, hate evil" (Psalm 97:10). Jesus said, "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much" (Luke 16:10).

So don't cut corners, don't toy with sin, don't try out the pleasures of sin, because whatever joy or satisfaction you may get from wrong, it's shallow, it doesn't last long, and it's always replace by heartache. And it's awfully hard trying to climb back up that slippery slope to goodness, wholesomeness, decency, and righteousness.