In a small town with only two churches, the preachers often passed each other on Sunday mornings riding their bikes to church. They’d nod, perhaps exchanges pleasantries, but on this particular Sunday morning one of the preachers was walking. “Where’s your bike?” the other preacher asked.
“You know, some sorry rascal stole my bike,” he said.
“Stole it? What a shame. But, tell you what, there’s only two churches in town, and that means whoever stole your bike just might be in one of our congregations. We’ll both go to church, preach hard about the commandment about not stealing, and perhaps the thief will get a case of conscience and bring back your bike,” his preacher friend said.
“OK, we’ll do that,” the walking preacher said.
And, they did just that, preached about stealing, and the next Sunday they met again . . . and this time both men were riding bikes. “Well, I see that you got your bike back. Looks like my good preaching must be the cause of that,” the one preacher said with a big smile.
“Yes, I’ve got it back,” the other preaches said, hanging his head. “But it wasn’t your preaching that did it. Like you, I preached on the commandments, but when I got to the one about thou shalt not commit adultery, I remembered where I left my bike.”