Steal (Klepto) =To take wrongfully what belongs to someone else.
1. What do we steal?
2. Why do we steal?
3. How should we view stealing?
Four words that summarize a biblical view of stealing:
- Consequences: Work is a prescribed post-fall activity, stealing is not!
Genesis 3:17-19 NKJV Then to Adam He said, ″Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ′You shall not eat of it′: Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. 18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.″
2 Thessalonians 3:6-14 NKJV But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; 8 nor did we eat anyone's bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, 9 not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us. 10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread. 13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. 14 And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed.
- Commandments: Stealing is condemned or addressed in 3 of the 10 commandments.
Exodus 20:8-11, 17, 15 NKJV ″Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.17 ″You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.″15 ″You shall not steal.Exodus 22:1-3 NKJV ″If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and slaughters it or sells it, he shall restore five oxen for an ox and four sheep for a sheep. 2 If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed. 3 If the sun has risen on him, there shall be guilt for his bloodshed. He should make full restitution; if he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.
- Contentment: Stealing is an unreasonable response to God's gifts and goodness.
Philippians 4:11 NKJV Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:
Galatians 6:4-5 NKJV But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For each one shall bear his own load.
- Character: Work is a God-honoring endeavor that enables charity.
Ephesians 4:28 NKJV Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 NKJV that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, 12 that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.
- What's the most valuable/important thing you've had stolen? How did it make you feel?
- Today, some municipalities are either turning a blind eye to theft or decriminalizing it. Why is failing to punish thieves counterproductive?
- Is simply choosing not to steal the opposite of stealing? Why or why not? If not, what is?
- How does having to work for what we need/want change our perspective on work and the things we have?
- What are you most tempted to steal? (credit owed to someone else, time we owe to God as stewards, possessions that don't belong to us, etc.)
- What part can contentment play in helping you overcome?