Summary: This 8th Commandment, is one that is violated more then we can imagine and is a eye opener to even Christians on how we often violate the love of God.
• God has condemned this practice and has declared that His children should leave it behind with the others works of the flesh.
• Ephesians 4:28 reads, “He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.”
II. Stealing is a Violation of a Loyalty
a. As an Employee
• Employee theft costs companies billions of dollars every year, somewhere in the neighborhood of $120 billion.
o According to USA Today, 48% of all American workers took something from an employer last year.
o People do this by taking things home, selling things without their employers knowledge and pocketing the money, taking kickbacks, falsifying time records, wasting time while at work, and so on.
Many years ago a young boy in a small village was working in a general store when a man entered and ordered some cloth. Observing that the owner of the establishment wasn’t there, the customer suggests the boy cheat a little and gives him an extra yard or two. “It’ll be all right, son,” he said. “Non one will ever know about it. Your master isn’t in.” Looking somewhat stunned, the youngster quickly replied, “Oh, but you’re mistaken, sir. My Master is always in! You see, I’m a Christian.” He was conscious of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
After one preacher finished preaching on this subject, a young man came to him and said, “Pastor, you have put me in a bad fix. I’ve stolen from my employer, and I’m ashamed to tell him about it. You see, I’m a boat builder, and the man I work for is an unbeliever. I have often talked to him about Christ, but he only laughs at me. In my work, expensive copper nails are used because they won’t rust in water. I’ve been taking some of them home for a boat I am building in my backyard. I’m afraid if I tell my boss what I’ve done and offer to pay for them, he’ll think I’m a hypocrite, and I’ll never be able to reach him for Christ. Yet, my conscience is bothered.”
Later when the man saw the preacher again, he exclaimed, “Pastor, I’ve settled that matter and I’m so relieved.” “What happened when you told your boss?” “Oh, he looked at me intently and said, ‘George, I’ve always thought you were a hypocrite, but now I’m not so sure. Maybe there’s something to your Christianity after all. Any religion that makes a man admits he’s been stealing a few copper nails and offer to stele for them must be worth having.’”
• Anytime we take things that are not ours from an employer, we are guilty of stealing.
o Whether it is time, or materials, the result is the same!
o Notice what God has to say to employers are well though.
b. As an Employer
• When employees are underpaid, over worked and treated badly, this too is a form of stealing!
• God has certain principles, which are to be followed by employers.
• Take Colossians 4:1 for example, “Masters grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.”
• However, I am of the opinion that there is less theft among employers than there is among employees!