Have you been stolen from?
Do you know what that feels like?
Ever go out to get on your bike and it is gone… walk up to your car and discover somebody broke into it… open your mail shocked by charges for things that you didn’t buy and realize somebody stole your identity?
Stealing is common. It is a big issue. Over 50 billion dollars of cash, goods and product is stolen in our country every year.
Much of our life includes measures to protect possessions. This has become so commonplace; we don’t even realize how odd it is.
Locks on our doors, fences around the house, guard dog in the yard, gun in the house, home security system, car alarm, vehicle location chips, smart phone security code, log-in ID and debit card user numbers.
Consider the everyday shopping experience; security detectors on each side of a store’s front doors, tags on all products, security cameras everywhere and just for added measure, uniformed security guards.
The whole point is to keep people from stealing.
Martin Luther said that in his day, if they took all the people who were stealing and hung them they’d run out of rope and they’d need to start using men’s belts to hang the rest of the thieves.
In our day, the manner in which stealing occurs has expanded from the obvious to the subtle. Taking appropriate recognition, over-charging, not fulfilling an agreement, substituting lower quality, under-paying, tax evasion, pirating songs and software, heading home with little things from work, underperforming; …it is estimated that 240+ billion dollars a year is stolen by employees thru lack of performance and productivity, showing up for 8 hours, but only working six.
Left to ourselves, we will develop reasons to justify stealing. Left to ourselves, a man can and will talk himself into just about anything.
This is not the way the world is supposed to be. What are we doing?
The 8h Commandment is straightforward: Do not steal.
These 10 Commandments are not a casual list of things that God put together. He was establishing a new nation and provided structure on how society should best be run. He was also revealing His character and ways to relationally walk in-step with Him.
So what perspective does God want us to live with?
Join us at the tables this Friday as we focus on and unpack the heart of this Commandment.
God is the absolute owner of everything. Let’s start there.
Hope to see you early!
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. – Jesus
This Week’s Key Verses
Do not steal. Exodus 20:15
He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. Ephesians 4:28
The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. Psalm 24:1
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe. Proverbs 28:26
The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Romans 13:9