Proverbs 28:13 Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
The little girl’s name was Amy. Her mother was dead; her father was poor, and put her to live in a good Christian family, where she had a very comfortable home.
Amy was a good, industrious girl. She learned to knit and she scoured the knives. She went on errands and made herself generally useful. She tried to be faithful, because she really wanted to please her Savior. She knew that though the lady she lived with did not always see her, yet God did. Her mother had gone to heaven to be with Jesus, and sometimes she used to think that if she tried to be a good girl, perhaps Jesus would tell her mother, and that would be very pleasant to her.
One day Amy let a cup fall out of her hands, and broke it. It belonged to the best set of China that the lady had. Amy felt very sorry, and was greatly frightened. She was not a careless girl. She tried to be careful in attending to all her duties. But accidents will sometimes happen even to the most careful, and it really was not her fault that the cup was broken. She picked up the pieces, and ran outsides with them. Then she began to cry, “Oh, dear, dear, what shall I do!” There was but one right thing for her to do; that was to go and tell the mistress of the house what had happened. But she was afraid of displeasing her mistress, and of being scolded or punished. It was wrong for her to give way to this feeling. For though we ought to be afraid of displeasing our earthly friends, we ought to be much more afraid of displeasing God, our best, our heavenly Friend.
Amy could not make up her mind to go and tell what she had done. But there were the pieces of the broken teacup staring her in the face. “What shall I do!” she said again to herself. Then it seemed as if some one whispered in her ear, “Dig a hole in the ground, and bury the pieces, and no one will know anything about it.”
Who was that whispering this in Amy’s ear? It was Satan. Yes, Amy had to fight a battle with Satan, now; and either she must conquer him, or he would conquer her. Let us watch this fight, and see how it ended, for we all have just the same sort of battles to fight, with just the same enemy.
I suppose Amy didn’t think that it was Satan who was telling her to do this, or else I don’t think she would have done it. But she listened to that whisper. She dug a hole, and put the broken teacup in it, and covered it up. I suppose this pleased Satan very much. He seemed to be winning the battle.
But how did Amy feel? Why, very uncomfortable. She went to bed; but she could not keep from crying. She put her head under the sheet, and cried herself to sleep.
When she woke the next morning, the very first thing she thought of was that broken teacup, and those pieces hid in the hole, and then she thought of God. He had seen her dig that hole, and put the pieces in it. He knew that she was trying to deceive her mistress. This would grieve him. He could not look on her with pleasure while she was trying to deceive. This made her feel worse than before. She said to herself, “I can’t stand this. I’d rather be punished than be a deceiver. I’d rather be punished than do what I know displeases my heavenly Father. I’ll go and tell my mistress all about it, this very minute.”
Then she slipped on her dress, and ran downstairs, without stopping to put her shoes and stockings on. She seemed to be afraid that Satan might come and tempt her again, and she wouldn’t give him a chance. She went into the yard and dug up the pieces of the broken teacup; then she went into the chamber of her mistress, and told her all that had happened, finishing up by saying, “And so I had a great deal rather tell you all, even though I get punished, than to keep hiding the pieces, and not tell.”
“I am very sorry that the cup is broken,” said the good lady, “but I am very, very thankful that you came of yourself and told me. You must fear God above everybody, Amy, and fear him all the time, and then Satan will never get the victory over you.”