Thursday, August 26, 2010
The Eighth Commandment
Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.
Stealing is so widespread in our culture today that I don't know if we are even aware of how bad it has become. We habitually lock everything. We have grown accustomed to seeing gas station attendants behind bulletproof glass. We have car alarms, even though no one seems to be concerned anymore when a car alarm goes off. We post signs on our front lawns stating that we have a security system, even if we may not have one.
A Newsweek article entitled "The Thrill of Theft" pointed out that $13 billion in merchandise is stolen every year. In fact, one retail manager in a Los Angeles-area mall said she uses shoplifting as a guide, saying, "We know what's hot among teens by seeing what they steal."
And according to a University of Florida study, retail stores lose more to employee theft than to shoplifting. Most employee theft goes unreported, but employee screening company Guardsmark estimates it to be $120 billion per year. Stealing is rampant.
A poll taken among youth who were asked why they do not steal revealed that the number-one reason was the fear of getting caught. The second most frequently cited reason was fear the theft victim might seek revenge. The third reason given was the item may not be needed. How about not stealing because it is wrong? How about not stealing because it is a sin?
Here is what God says about stealing: "Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need" (Ephesians 4:28). Stealing is wrong before God, and He thought enough about it to include it in His Top Ten list, the Ten Commandments: "You shall not steal" (Exodus 20:15).
Copyright © 2010 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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