Monday, January 6, 2014

Am I Stealing?

O. T. #202   "Am I Stealing?" 
Jan. 6, 2014
Exodus 20-Part 9
Thou shalt not steal.  Exodus 20:15


How is my time spent? Am I stealing from others? Do I selfishly spend time on the computer instead of with family? Am I encouraging others with calls, notes, words, gifts, deeds of kindness? Am I withholding from my Lord Jesus, a part of my heart, a part of my life? Do I steal what is not mine-time, forgiveness, love, relationships? So, is it stealing when I hold onto something selfishly and don't give to others? Am I stealing?

The word steal in Hebrew is ganab (gaw-nab') refers to thieve; to deceive; carry away; secretly bring.

Any dishonest acquiring of another's goods or assets greatly disturbs the right to ownership of private property, which is an important principle for societal stability. Stealing seriously questions God's unquestionable ability to properly provide for His people.  (MacArthur)

There are characters in the Word who stole:
  • Rachel stole her father's idols (Gen. 31:19;
  • Jacob stole away from Laban by not telling him that he was running away (Gen. 31:20);
  • After the Battle of Jericho, Achan stole silver and gold, which were to be put into the treasury of the Lord (Joshua 6:19, 7:25). Achan and his family were destroyed.
  • Absolom stole the hearts of the men of Israel, so they joined his army against King David. (2 Sam. 15:6)
  • Prophets stole the Word of the Lord, so He was against them (Jer. 23:30).
So items were not the only things stolen. Of course, the Lord sees all and know all.
Is there something that we have which we should not have?

Not only can personal property and possessions be taken from others which are not rightfully ours, but we can steal from God, also. 
How do we rob God?
  • We fail to honor God with our finances, withholding what is His due (Mal. 3:8-10); we withhold partial tithes and offerings; we do not pay them at all; or we do not bring them into the house of God as we should 
  • by refusing to give Him ourselves for obedience and His service, because He bought us and owns us (1 Peter 1:18-19, 1 Cor. 6:20). (Falwell and Guzik)
Are we robbing God or others?


What does the New Testament have to say about stealing?
Ephesians 4:28 says 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.

Jesus told us to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven, not on earth, where thieves do not break through nor steal (Matt. 6:19-21).
The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus came to give us abundant life (John 10:10).

There are some contemporary applications of things we can steal. Perhaps we do not stop to consider it stealing:
  • a person's character by spreading gossip or telling lies about one;
  • harming another's witness; criticizing their good;
  • by taking one's identity away; or stealing using their identity;
  • stealing time in our workplace, stretching coffee breaks and lunch hours, or coming in late at work;
  • violating copyright laws;
  • by not honoring, encouraging, or showing kindness or love to others when we have the opportunity. (To know to do good and not do it, it is sin.);
  • withholding ourselves from the Lord; living for self and not for Jesus.
Maybe this is a different approach to the topic and will stir our thinking. Probably there are other examples that can be added to the list.
Are we giving our all to the Lord Jesus?


Surrender all to Jesus.

Be thankful and content with what things I have.

Do not take from others nor withhold good from others.

Give my heart to the Lord, not things.

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