By Phil Quinn
When there is a mistake on Peter's paycheck, he must decide what the right thing to do is. When Clark sees his act of integrity, he realizes that there is something to this Christianity thing. Setting: An office building, they are picking up their paychecks.
Peter, a maturing Christian
Clark, his unchurched buddy. Both are accountants.
(PETER and CLARK enter)
CLARK: I figure if we go in on it together, we cut the risk in half anyhow. But my broker says that this is the chance of a lifetime, HUGE payback guaranteed. So can I count you in?
PETER: You know I'd love to, but I can't afford it. I'm on a way tight budget lately.
CLARK: Yeah, I've noticed that… What's going on?
PETER: Well, you know how I was in debt for a while, right? Well I started going to this financial advisor…
CLARK: Peter, are kidding me? We're accountants!
PETER: This is different, the guy goes to my church, he helps me fit in my tithing and extra money for donations… stuff like that. Ideally, I'm supposed to set aside 10% for savings, 10% for tithing, and 5% for gifts… leaving only 75% of my paycheck for the bills.
CLARK: That hurts… especially with the way the company pays us… Speaking of which…
PETER: Oh right! (Both remove envelopes from pulpit)
CLARK: (Opens his paycheck) Let's see what we got this week… oh look! It's… the same as always. (PETER has opened his too, and is just staring at it, blankly) That's what's great about our job, isn't it... a lovely sense of… (stares at PETER for a moment) You okay buddy?
PETER: (as if jerking awake) Yeah, Yeah, um… it's wrong.
CLARK: What is?
PETER: My paycheck… there's a mistake. It's way too high. It looks like…
CLARK: Lemme see… whoa… they plugged an extra zero in there! Hey, you know what this is? It's your God rewarding you! You spend all this time making sure to put your money in the right place, and here is exactly enough to join me on the deal! It's a sign man!
PETER: What if they notice?
CLARK: You dope, are you forgetting the hours you spend in your cubicle? Our system is as bogged down as they get! They'll never notice! Even if they do, it's not like it's your fault!
PETER: I don't know…
CLARK: Peter, are you out of your mind? This is your God's way of paying you back, man! After we do this, we'll be rich! Think about what you could do with that money! You could give a fortune to the church…
PETER: Maybe you're right, maybe this what God wants…
CLARK: You're finally seeing reason! Man, with all the dough you'll be able to give your church, they're gonna wanna name the place after you!
PETER: (Fully drawn in, then realizing)Yeah, the Peter P… wait a second… hold on here.
CLARK: Think what your Christian Money Man's gonna say about this!
PETER: (realizes) no… no… NO! (disgusted in himself) Clark, that's wrong! Giving in church isn't about recognition by men! And he's not my "Christian Money Man", he's my financial advisor, and I know exactly what he'd say about this, he'd say it was dishonest!
CLARK: Dishonest? Pete, we're not lying to anybody! They wrote you a check, it's got your name on it, it's yours! What more is there to it?
PETER: (Sincerely) That's the thing, Clark, it's not mine, it's God's. I'm just a steward. And keeping money that's not mine would be compromising my integrity. Do you know what Jesus said to people who wanted to be his disciples? He told them to leave everything they own and follow him. Giving money to God that's not mine wouldn't bring glory to Him, or me. It would be dishonest. It would be sinful.
CLARK: (Moved) Wow. You really have... firm convictions. That's really cool, I wish I believed in something that strongly.
PETER: You know, I'm meeting with my friend, the "Christian Money Man" right after work, he knows this stuff better than I do. You should come and just… talk.
CLARK: (Considers) Yeah, I think I will… I have a question for you. You say that God is loving and in control of everything… If that's so, why would He do this to you? Tempt you with money, so that if you do the right thing… isn't it like He's teasing you?
PETER: You know, I don't know why He does what he does. (Realizes something, and puts a hand on CLARK's shoulder) But maybe… this didn't happen for me. (Peter exits, Clark stops, wowed. Then he follows)
© Copyright Phil Quinn. All rights reserved
This skit may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed. He may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org