Right of Ownership
"You shall not steal." Exodus 20:15 NIV
Thoughts for Today
God places a high value on private property. The eighth commandment focuses on the right of ownership.
While most of us would never go out and rob a bank, there are other forms of stealing: tax evasion, failure to pay debts, fraud, abusing copyright laws, charging excessive interest, being less than honest on an insurance claim—any act of taking something that doesn't belong to us. We might try to justify these acts with thoughts like That insurance company has plenty of money—and they overcharge me on my premiums or These taxes are unfair—I shouldn't have to pay them. But God says, "You shall not steal."
Actually, everything belongs to God. We are stewards of what he has entrusted to us. To abuse a person's right of ownership, whether they are rich or poor, is wrong. The rich should not rob their employees and the poor should not expect to be shown favoritism. The Christian example should be that of a giver, not a taker.
If you have been drawn into the all-too-common attitudes of selfishness and compromise that invade our world today, it is time to turn your back on those attitudes and focus on doing things God's way.
Father, help me not to rationalize my way to dishonest behavior. In all things, help me to be a giver, not a taker. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from…
The Ten Commandments: Applying the Foundations of Living to My Personal Life by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. Knowing that there are absolutes that define moral conduct and ethical decisions is essential for believers surrounded by relativistic values. This guide helps us understand God's boundaries. It shows how the Ten Commandments apply today. It also discusses the biblical laws on which the legal codes of every civilized society are based. This guide is written in a way that helps people see the Ten Commandments in light of today's problems. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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