“You shall not steal.” Exodus 20:15
“You shall not steal.”
A story was told about Tom and Pauline Nichter, a homeless and jobless couple who had been living in their car or with relatives for months. So the wallet they found containing $100 bills looked like a windfall. But they gave it all back to the tourist who lost it. “We could have used that money,” said Pauline. “But we weren’t brought up that way, and we didn’t want our son brought up that way.”
If everyone practiced honesty like that, it would revolutionize society. Employee theft of goods and time would stop. Shoplifting would go out of style. Overcharging for goods and services would end. Prices could be lowered. And we would all have more of what is rightfully ours.
The eighth commandment reveals God’s desire for that kind of society. It’s based on the prin- ciple that everything belongs to God and that when we cheat an institution or a person we are stealing from the Lord. It also protects everyone’s right to be a property owner in the only sense that God allows not to amass more and more for personal gain but to manage wisely what is His for the good of others.
A living relationship with Christ can keep us from being thieves. As that relationship grows, He will teach us how to be givers not takers.
“To take from others what is theirs is robbing from the Lord; for all they have is from His hand and it’s theirs by His own word.” (DJD)
Christians don’t own their wealth they owe it. (From: Our Daily Bread).
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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.
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