“You shall not steal.” Anyone that knows much at all about scripture knows this to be a command of God as outlined first in the “Ten Commandments” of the Old Testament. I would imagine most everyone considers those words as a warning to those that would take material possessions from another person without permission. Those things and that understanding would be fairly obvious to most anyone, and certainly that behavior would be condemned by the church and individual Christians. However, are there other ways to steal from others? Would other behaviors qualify also as things God condemns as a part of that commandment? Could a person never take a material possession from another and still be a thief?
How about these behaviors or choices? Would they qualify?
- Stealing someone’s good name or reputation
- Stealing someone’s opportunity to be viewed by you the way God views them…..like…forgiven?
- Stealing a person’s joy with regular criticism when you really know very little about what they do
- Stealing someone’s heart for their spouse by “innocent flirting”
- Stealing someone’s opportunity and desire to be used in the church by control issues?
- Stealing your own child’s chances to really know Christ and love His church by staying home?
- Stealing the momentum of a congregation by being a part of those choosing to be “here today, gone tomorrow?”
- Stealing several hours of fellow members’ days by being unwilling to share one or two of your own in project needs for the church?
Do you see how much more we can steal? Please church….let us all be careful. We can be thieves without ever taking a possession from another person. God condemned stealing. Think about it.