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Robert Adams had just finished his shift on a sweltering workday, and wanted a refreshing, ice-cold drink and a burrito before heading home. Finding himself a couple bucks short, he went to an ATM to make a quick withdrawal…where he found a bag containing over $17,000 in cash!


Decisions. Decisions.


At first, the 54-year-old Arlington Heights resident thought it was a joke; after all, he’d seen similar gimmicks on TV shows. But when no hidden camera crew sprang out of the background, he picked up the clear, plastic bag and took a peek inside. Much to his surprise, he found bundles of $20 bills and $100 bills totaling $17,021!  


Determining who the money belonged to didn’t require the skills Sherlock Holmes; the word “Chase” was printed on the outside of the bag. Adams, a man of incredible integrity, walked the bag into the nearby branch. Thinking the money had been accidentally left while an employee was filling the ATM, he approached the teller and said, “I think you might have left this outside.”  


But the teller informed him that the ATM machines were filled from the inside and that the money in the bag wasn’t theirs. This information necessitated Adams involving the police, which he did. Within a couple hours, the mystery was solved: an armored truck employee had accidentally dropped the bag of money en route to the neighboring town of Midlothian. The police officers delivered the missing money to a grateful manager.

When asked about the temptation he faced to keep the money for himself, Adams reported that it was his upbringing that helped him decide his course of action. “It’s not my money. I don’t care if you put another zero on there, I wasn’t raised to take money that isn’t mine.”


Investigating officials didn’t know if Adams would get a reward, but according to God’s Word, integrity carries its own rewards:


A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is his delight. When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them. Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. The righteousness of the blameless keeps his way straight, but the wicked falls by his own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the treacherous are taken captive by their lust. (Proverbs 11:1-6)



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(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)