And God spoke all these words saying You shall not steal.- Exodus 20:1, 15 ESV
Out of all the 10 commandments, most people would say this is one that they have neve done! “I have never stolen”, is a belief that most people have. But let us consider the many ways we can “take that which is not ours”. And even though this is the 8th commandment, it is very closely aligned with the 10th commandment; “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:17)
Leader, there are many ways to “take what is not ours”, to steal. We can steal by what we take, we can steal by what we do, we can steal by what we don’t do-what we withhold, and we can steal by what we keep. The most obvious way is by what we take. Whether our theft is grand- large things, or Petty-small things, it is still stealing. I have heard that 75% of all insurance claims have, at least, partial fraud in them. We “deserve”, this is our opportunity to “make some money”, “Everybody does it”. Do you treat people properly, and fairly- those that work for you, those that are hired helpers or employees- do you pay them a fair wage? For those that work for someone else, do you spend your time at work- doing work, or are you on social media, leaving early and taking care of personal things? Colossians 3:23 reminds us: Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.
Conduit, one of the biggest ways we STEAL is by what we keep: TIME, GLORY and STUFF! These are gifts from God, how well are you KEEPING TIME, glory and HIS stuff? Are you investing your time that God has given you so that there is a return of investment when god calls you home and wants to know what you did with the time He gave you? We steal GOD’s GLORY all the time. Everything we have, every blessing we have, all gifts, talents and resources come from God! James 1:17 tells us; Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights. Do you GIVE GOD THE GLORY, or do you accept credit for what HE DID and what HE has GIVEN YOU? Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. (Malaki 3:8) Are you a CONDUIT? Do you take God’s STUFF and use it for HIS GLORY, HIS people and HIS WILL? For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. (Col 1:16) The Time is NOW to LET GO of what God has blessed you with and use it for HIS GLORY and for HIS PEOPLE! John makes 2 statements in 1 John 3:17 and 4:20 that leaves no doubt; But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? LOVE IS A VERB! If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. GIVE what has been GIVEN TO YOU!