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Max Lucado tells the story of a youngster who was shooting rocks with a slingshot. He could never hit his target. As he returned to Grandma’s backyard, he spied her pet duck. On impulse he took aim and let fly. The stone hit, and the duck was dead. The boy panicked and hid the bird in the woodpile, only to look up and see his sister watching.


After lunch that day, Grandma told Sally to help with the dishes. Sally responded, "Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today. Didn’t you Johnny?" And she whispered to him, "Remember the duck!" So, Johnny did the dishes.


What choice did he have? For the next several weeks he was at the sink often. Sometimes for his duty, sometimes for his sin. "Remember the duck," Sally’d whisper when he objected.


So weary of the chore, he decided that any punishment would be better than washing more dishes, so he confessed to killing the duck.


"I know, Johnny," his grandma said, giving him a hug.

"I was standing at the window and saw the whole thing. Because I love you, I forgave you" I wondered how long you would let Sally make a slave out of you."2


He’d been pardoned, but he ...

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