Do you steal often? Perhaps the real question should be, "How much do you give?" Keep Reading…
Exodus 20:15 - “You shall not steal."
This commandment seems pretty straight-forward. When was the last time that you shop-lifted or stole someone's car? For some, the temptation to steal in such obvious ways is compelling. But for most, the command not to steal seems very do-able.
But take a closer look. Remember that God is intent on our love and loyalty (note the first two commandments). He sees his relationship with us much like a bride and groom. It is important to note that God takes stealing personally. When this commandment is broken, it is broken against him.
“The earth is the Lord's and everything in it." Psalm 24:1 God owns everything, so all stealing is against him. Have you stolen time from God? How about finances? Do you steal attention and intentional focus from God by spreading it around to many others? You see, the potential of stealing goes deep.
What is the opposite of stealing? Not stealing, of course. But think again. Jesus says, "But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you." Matthew 5:39-42
Sacrificial giving is the opposite of stealing. This is what God calls us to. Relationships thrive when sacrificial giving is the core value. Simply "not stealing" from another person or from God is not the full intent of the law. God is always after our love. He wants the sacrificial gift. Deuteronomy 6:5
If the Holy Spirit is convicting you of specific acts of stealing against God or other people, take time to confess and repent of this. Also ask the Spirit how you are doing as a sacrificial giver. Is it time to make some changes? Allow him to give you specifics. Then be sure to obey.
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