Top Ten #8 Worry, No Faith in God and No Respect for your Neighbour: Do not Steal

Topics:   stealing    faith    commandments   

Posted by Brad Quiring on March 11, 2015

Abundant Life is continuing with a series on the Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20. This time we look at the eighth commandment, “Thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15, KJV)

What is stealing? A paraphrase from Matthew Henry defines stealing as, Invading our neighbour’s rights forcibly or clandestinely.”

From whom do we steal? Ourselves. We waste our money thus depriving ourselves of our needs but also that which can bring us comfort and happiness.

We steal from other people both in taking that which does not belong to us without permission and in withholding that which we should be giving them.

We also steal from God when we live lives as hypocrites with our contradictory behaviour and when we withhold giving generously in church and to those in need in Jesus’ name.

The root of stealing has two branches. The first is our Selfishness. We think only of ourselves, we envy others and covet their goods (breaking the 10th commandment) and we have a feeling of entitlement, that we “should” receive such and such, whether it was truly earned or not.

The second branch of this root is a Lack of Trust in God. We worry think only of ourselves, we worry, we think we can run things and we make decisions without consulting with the Lord who loves us and truly knows what is best.

The results of stealing are obvious. When we steal we can face legal consequences. We also destroy relationships and fall into a spiral of deception. We place unnecessary burdens on others since they are responsible for replacing what we took. Not to mention the loss of security one feels when their liberty has been violated. Since people are made in God’s image, when we steal from someone, we disrespect the image-bearer of God, thus disrespecting God himself.

God created everything and gave us everything we needed. When we worry or feel we should get “more”, then we completely disregard the goodness and provision of God. God’s divine intention from the beginning was that we have everything we need, that we be grateful for what we have received from him and that we be content in every circumstance. Stealing is a violation of all three of these intentions.

What is the solution to stealing?

1. Destroy Pride and Selfishness

Philippians 2:3, 4

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

2. Trust God for your Needs

Matthew 6:31 - 33

31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

3. Work and Share with Others

Ephesians 4:28

Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.