Monday, April 5, 2021
What the Bible 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 NKJV).
A 2018 survey by the National Retail Federation found that theft is costing American retailers an average of 1.33 percent of sales annually. That translates to a loss of $46.8 billion annually across the retail industry.
The eighth of the Ten Commandments says, “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15 NKJV), yet theft has become so common that we don’t even notice things like gas station clerks working behind bulletproof glass or security cameras monitoring our every move both indoors and out on the streets.
That’s how pervasive theft is in our culture today. And to all of this, God says, “You shall not steal.” Not only is stealing a crime, but it’s a sin.
Here’s what the Bible 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 NKJV).
This verse tells us three very practical things about stealing. First, those who’ve been stealing should no longer do it. And if they’ve taken something from someone, they should give it back because it doesn’t belong to them.
Second, we should do something useful. Like it or not, the Bible teaches that we’re to earn a living by working (see 2 Thessalonians 3:10). The world doesn’t owe us a living, and neither does the government.
Third, we should share what we have with others. This is the opposite of stealing. Socialism has become very popular in our culture today especially among younger Americans who think it’s a new way of life that we should adopt for our nation.
But the Bible doesn’t advocate socialism. Instead, the sharing that the Bible advocates for is voluntary. Therefore, we should share with others instead of take from them because everything we have comes from God.
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