The context of the behavior?

Isn’t it interesting how significant context is in defining sinful behavior? Or should I ask, does context play a role in defining sinful behavior?

Two examples from my life:

I walked outside a minor league baseball stadium during a game. A foul ball was hit up over the stands and landed a few feet in front of me. I hailed my good fortune, picked the ball up, and walked away. At professional baseball games, balls hit into the stands or out of the park are a ‘finders keepers’ proposition.

I was in a high school parking lot near the tennis courts. The tennis team had just finished practicing. There was a bright green tennis ball on the pavement near my car. I couldn’t bring myself to pick it up and keep it. That would have been, to me, the wrong thing to do. Instead, I picked it up and threw it back to the tennis courts. (I tried to throw it over the fence, but was too far away and it landed on the grass outside the enclosure. I’m sure they’ll find it if they bother to look).

Sounds to me like you have figured it out.

If it is common thing to take ball and if it’s owner doesn’t consider it as theft, but rather as a nice way to get new people watch the game, why do you de9scribe it as sinful behaviour?

I specifically didn’t describe it as sinful behavior.

Keep ball from baseball game <> sinful behavior

Keep ball from tennis practice maybe/maybe not sinful behavior, but seemingly unethical

That’s the point of context.

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