God the Father spoke in The Old Testament Commandments:
These commands are our indictment! He gave us further instruction in The New Testament Commandments and in The Beatitudes. And then, Jesus the Christ provided our pardon!
Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
The Ten Commandments (8) - Look Before You Leap
"You shall not steal." Deuteronomy 5:19
Leaping in Faith / Falling in Ruin
The struggle with the sin of stealing from a spiritual perspective often appears when we begin to weigh the cost to "self," as we ponder whether it is more "blessed to give than to receive." So, is it wrong to think God is big enough to take care of others without our help?
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. Ephesians 4:28
What the LORD has convicted our hearts to pay attention to is how our actions will effect others. Some things we may only pilfer or "steal in small quantities," thinking it is not such a big deal. The problem? The Holy Spirit will nag our conscience no matter how insignificant our action may have seemed at the time. If we remain unconcerned, it could mean that going to the Father for a relationship adjustment is in order.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. Romans 8:5
Our love for God should be enough to keep us from the sin of thievery; But does it? This may depend on what we believe to be stealing and what is likely to be stolen. We are all pretty clear we are not to take the possessions of others without permission. However, can we steal more than money or material possessions?
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10
A few other precious commodities which can be stolen might be the time, energy, affections and patience of others. Can these also be considered stolen when we are reckless in our thoughts of God and others? Satan is the master thief and unfortunately he will use God's children to accomplish his proposed methods of destruction. What happens to someone when their peace of mind is stolen by an abusive or self centered family member, friend or even an employer? How does God see it when we have robbed someone of their dignity and made them question their self worth? Our Christian witness is destroyed when we treat others as less important than ourselves. And this gives Satan a foothold in two directions. We, as well as those we choose to abuse become his victims. "Thou shalt not steal," takes on a new dimension ion when we fail to evaluate our treatment of those around us with God's measuring stick. Meditating in and the study of the "whole" of God's inherent Word will give us the answers we seek.
And my God shall supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Pilippians 4:19
Jesus' death on the cross is our reminder of His love for mankind. We can trust He will use the gifts we extend, whether material or "fruit of the Spirit" actions, to bring souls into His Kingdom. His righteousness endures through those we help to find their way in Him. The major portion of our need lies in the building of our character to the likeness of Jesus. He will supply all we need to accomplish His purposes in His ways. IN FAITH...He can and will give us these riches to pass on to others.
"Blessed are those who hungry and thirst for righteousness, For they will be filled!" Matthew 5:6
In the lesson for this week, "Look Before You Leap," Joshua Jackrabbit gathers carrots from a garden and then he sees the "No Trespassing," sign. He is quite alarmed when he discovers his error. If we as Christians will hunger and thirst for the righteousness provided by our Savior and Lord, He can intervene and avert such actions that would create pain and harm we otherwise may cause to others.
As I grow to see others as You would have me see them, I wish to be a person who brings encouragement and contentment. Give me wisdom to see potential harm before words are spoken and ahead of deeds that could be harmful.
Eighth of the Ten Commandments and Beatitude Lesson