Different Types of Theft

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October 9 – Different Types of Theft

Read Deuteronomy 25:13-16 and Romans 13:8 

            It seems elementary to declare that stealing is wrong. Not only did God prohibit it in the Ten Commandments, but every law code recorded has condemned it. Property is universally protected. Measures for punishment and restitution are common to every civilization.

But theft of property is not the only way people steal. The Deuteronomy 25 passage specifically condemns false weights and measures. Proverbs 16:11 says, “The Lord demands accurate scales and balances; He sets the standards for fairness.” There is often pressure in today’s world to maximize profits, sometimes at the expense of honesty and integrity. God demands honesty.

Another type of theft is the misuse of time on the job. Employees are paid to perform their duties based on a certain number of hours (in most cases). Not doing an honest day’s work is stealing from an employer.

Paying Debts

At one time or another, nearly everyone is in debt to someone else. Romans 13:8 says, “Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another.” It is not a sin to owe – it is a sin not to repay. Failure to repay money that is rightfully owed is a form of stealing. The lender acted in good faith, believing that he would be repaid. The borrower dishonors God when he fails to keep his word by not repaying.

Another serious form of theft is to steal someone’s reputation, impugning their character through malicious gossip. Paul denounced gossip and other sins in 2 Corinthians 12:20 — “For I am afraid that when I come I won’t like what I find, and you won’t like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly behavior.” All of those behaviors, including gossip, displease and dishonor God.

 

How common are dishonest business practices, non-repayment of loans, and gossip in our world today? Why are each of those forms of stealing?

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