The concept of ownership began “In the beginning.”
God expects us to have possessions.
Being owners is built into our psyche.
God created Adam and Eve, then entrusted them with a home.
The home, the Garden, the animals, were theirs.
And when they forfeited these, they were saddened. They felt the loss.
After sin God showed them how to build – a home for themselves and shelter for their livestock.
He showed them how to grow the food that they needed, which required tools because of the curse of sin.
Once again, they owned a home, clothes, animals, gardens, food grown and harvested from the gardens, tools…
Cain owned the produce from his gardens.
Abel owned the flocks and herds in his care.
The 8th Commandment is another boundary mandated by God to help us overcome the sinful greed, envy, selfishness, and self-indulgence that Satan entices us with every day.
Ownership is more than money.
It is the right to own things, to have possessions without fear of loss.
What Else Do You Own?
>“I have a dream” is a well-known statement. Could a dream be considered a possession?
What if I squash someone’s dream? Would that be breaking this commandment?
Not every time. At 9 years of age I dreamed of playing the violin. My parents could not afford such a luxury.
When it is within my power and ability to help someone achieve a dream, I should do so.
And not just for family.
But, I suspect that a deliberate denial of a reasonable dream could be theft.
>A reputation is a valuable possession.
I must not steal someone’s reputation either by slander or misrepresentation – or though omission.
>If I withhold my support of a church leader by refusing to work or participate, I might be stealing from him just what he needs.
When I have knowledge, talent, insight, a message and keep it for myself only – I could be stealing success or worse.
>When I choose to deny a friend comfort or encouragement I can steal their joy.
And the BIGGY…
>God has designated one-seventh of our time to be spent with Him.
Not just any 24 hours of the week, but a specific day – the Time of Sabbath.
When I choose to do my own things on His Time, I am stealing from him.
I am also stealing from myself the benefits He promises to those who give Him His Time.
>As I look at all of these expansions of Don’t Steal – I am struck by the realization that in each case I have also robbed God of the discipleship that I owe to Him..
Need or Greed
God’s societal plans would take care of the Need, if people followed His instructions.
Greed comes straight from the devil. Greed and envy take away the enjoyment of the things God has entrusted us with.
It’s the feeling that “I deserve more, because someone else has more.”
The only cure for Greed, for Envy, is generosity – benevolence.
“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7: 12
Recognize that everything we own is entrusted to us by God.
God is the Landlord, the Owner of everything.
When you expand that to all of the people in all of the world, it becomes clear that stealing anything from another person is stealing from God.
When I choose to be in opposition to His Law, I am also stealing from myself the blessings that God wants to shower on me.
Your comments and suggestions are welcome.