I can’t see your face as you read the title – but, I’m quite sure some readers are shocked.
That I should suggest that Christians steal is an absurd, out-of-bounds affront!
When I was a youth I went to a store with a friend. We walked there from his home. His younger brother went with us. After we left the store and headed back to the house, the brother asked, “Want a belt?”
I watched in amazement as he lifted his shirt and began taking belts off. He had stolen three belts while we were shopping. I was shocked. It was my first encounter with the shoplifting habit.
He didn’t want the items, he just liked the thrill of getting away without paying.
Examples of Stealing
All of my children (now grown) worked in food service businesses. It angered me when they told me of customers who did the “Dine and Dash” routine. Go to a restaurant and order. After eating some, excuse yourself to go to the restroom, but slip out the door without paying. The wait staff have to pay for those meals. Stealing food and causing the loss of income.
Some people like to talk about others. A little bending of the events can make a person appear to be suspicious or even guilty, and therefore not a good choice for a friend.
While at work you take time to quickly check your personal account: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn… a multitude of apps for social engagement. Maybe you only spend 5 minutes. Over two weeks that could easily amount to an hour or more. Time you were paid for your work that was stolen.
God has made it clear that He is the One who makes it possible for you to earn money. In return He claims 10% as His Tithe. Offerings beyond the Tithe are used to operate and maintain the church. The Israelite example added about 15% for offerings. This did not create paupers among them.
Stealing from God has few immediate punishments. But the long-term is otherwise.
The Sabbath is a sacred time to devote to relationship with God. We have been instructed to “guard well the edges of the Sabbath.” What are we expected to do to foster a better relationship with God?
Time-stealing from God blocks blessings.
One of the aspects of being a Christian is that we are visible examples of “What God is like.” Have I messed up God’s reputation with my actions, my life?
In a related area, have my actions, words, example caused others to lose interest in knowing God. “If that’s the way Christians live, I don’t want anything to do with their religion.”
When I am identified as a Christian, people expect that I will be like Jesus. Disappointment in me can cause them to lose interest in God.
It is possible to steal from my family. I have a responsibility to train my children and nurture my wife in their walk with God. My actions speak loudly. How well do I do my job in this respect?
Is my example teaching them to choose God’s Way? Am I a hypocrite?
Have I stolen from myself? If I had spent more time with my Bible, the Spirit of Prophecy counsels, work-related courses to achieve advancement, I might have become more, better. What opportunities have a lost because I did not…
This is a heavy subject. Difficult to present. Difficult to wrap our minds around.
I do not present this topic with the intent of discouraging. The more I know, the better able am I to pattern my life after the Bible standard.
There is danger in believing, “All these I have kept from my youth up!”
The truth is...
I am a sinner in need of a Savior.
As I walk with Him, I find that I am less confident in my life actions.
Yet I am more confident in the promise of being covered with Jesus, so that the Father looks at me, and sees His Son.
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