April 20, 2005
You shall not steal.
When my wife and I were younger, someone broke into our house and left it ransacked. Several months earlier, we had gone to a department store to put a television on layaway. We had already made several payments toward it, anxiously waiting the day it would be paid off and we could welcome it home. But we never saw that television again because of the theft.
Nevertheless, I felt so violated, angry, and offended that someone would come into our home and steal our personal possessions. God is also offended by theft. So much so that He gave us a commandment for it: Thou shall not steal.
This commandment implies the right of ownership. God has given every person the dignity of work, the right to personal property, to take a business, to see it grow, to work hard with your hands, to buy the car you’ve been wanting—simply to enjoy the things He’s given us. God is committed to our care. He said he would meet your needs, not your “greeds.”
It is common knowledge that we are not to steal from others because it means the breaking of the law in almost every country around the world. Theft is a crime. But remember that there is more than the robbery of one’s possessions. Be mindful of stealing from others their purity, dignity, liberty, and their right to make an honest living.
It’s even possible to steal from God. How is that so? You were made to glorify God and love Him with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. And if you’re not giving the Lord your life completely, you have robbed Him of what is rightfully His.
IT IS BETTER TO GIVE THAN TO TAKE AWAY—
GOD COMMANDS IT IN HIS WORD.