October 6 – No Stealing
Read Exodus 20:15
When I was a student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Debbie and I rented a little house in an older neighborhood. One day, the house was broken into and what valuables we had were taken. The things that were taken were replaced rather quickly. It took much longer, however, to overcome the emotional damage. We felt violated. We felt like putting everything else we had in the front yard to prevent someone from coming into the house again.
That violated feeling is part of the reason why stealing is destructive. The Ten Commandments were given to guide community life as well as personal behavior. It is difficult to love your neighbor when someone has broken into your house and taken a lot of your things. (How many locks and alarms do you set at night?)
A Broken Perspective
Followers of Christ believe that everything that we have is a gift from Him. We have the responsibility to use the gifts we have been given in ways that reflect God’s likeness and our desire to honor Him. Stewardship is about using things wisely. Good stewardship is a testimony that our trust and security is in our Heavenly Father rather than the things we possess. That belief leads us to use our resources differently from the way that non-believers use their resources. Specifically, we give a lot because our Father gave (and gives) a lot.
Stealing is in direct contrast to God’s character. God gives – the thief takes. The God-follower loves the other person – the robber loves the other person’s stuff. “(Jesus said) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10)”.
Have you ever been a victim of theft? If so, how did it affect you?