Summary: One day I will stand before Him and give an account. I will explain to God why I stole something that wasn't mine and why I did steal when He said clearly don't do it. That's when it's going to count. I'm being watched by God.


Ten Commandments That Build Strong Families - Part 8

Exodus 20:15

We're looking at the 7th Commandment today -- "You shall not steal".


It's amazing the number of ways that we can think up to steal or rip off somebody else. I've listed six but there are many I could have put down.

1. Deceiving customers.

Three thousand years ago this was a problem. Amos 8:5, "They overcharge, use false measures, and fix the scales to cheat the customers." That sounds pretty current. When a repairman makes unnecessary repairs, a doctor makes unnecessary tests, a salesman skips over the fine print, when you sell a car and don't tell the problems with it that's called stealing.

2. By defrauding employers.

I'm not just talking about employee theft here where you pad your expense account or take home supplies or equipment or merchandise. But I'm talking about when you waste time on the job. The Bible calls that stealing. If somebody's paying you for your time and you come in late, leave early, take three coffee breaks and a long lunch there isn't a whole lot of time left. God says that's stealing. Don't do it.

3. By delaying payments

"Don't take advantage of anyone. Don't hold back the wages of someone you've hired, not even for one night." If you've got some employees or suppliers or friend and you owe them some money don't say, the check's in the mail, do it now.

4. By defaulting on loans.

"The wicked man borrows and never pays back." A lot of people have no intention of paying back. The worst loans are made to friends and relatives. Anything borrowed. Tools, skis, punch bowls, records, video -- any stuff. God says that's not long term borrowing, that's stealing. It's wrong.

5. By defrauding or deceiving the government.

"The authorities are working for God. Pay what you owe them, pay your personal and property taxes." Tax evasion is illegal. God says it's stealing, don't do it.

6. Don't defraud the Lord.

Mal 3:8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me! But you ask, "How do we rob you, God?' By withholding tithes and offerings!"

The Bible teaches tithing is a tenth or ten percent. The first 10% of all I make goes back to Him in gratitude because I owe Him everything. I wouldn't have anything if it weren't for God. He could have said 20%, 50% but He just said 10%. God says if I am paying my bills before I pay the Lord back out of gratitude for what He's done, that's robbing God.

"I'm breaking the eighth commandment because I'm not tithing."


1. I am being watched.

2. I will reap whatever I sow.

3. Dishonesty damages my character.

4. God will reward my honesty.

1. I am being watched by God.

People steel because they think they can get away with it and think nobody is going to know about it. If you knew when you stole something (like towels in the motel) that everybody was going to know about it, would you steel? Not likely. So Satan comes along and he says, "Nobody's going to know. Besides you owe it to yourself. That employer is ripping you off. You should be paid more. It's OK to take those supplies home. It's OK to take that equipment. Nobody's ever going to know. Nobody will ever find out." Wrong! The most important person knows. That's God. He's the one you're going to have to give an account to, not anybody else.

Job 34:21-22 "God carefully watches the goings on of all mankind, he sees them all. No darkness is thick enough to hide evil men from his eyes." Nothing escapes God's view. I may fool other people. I may fool the government. I may fool the insurance company when I turn in a dishonest claim. But I'm not fooling God, He's the guy I've got to report to. One day I will stand before Him and give an account. I will explain to God why I stole something that wasn't mine and why I did steel when He said clearly don't do it. That's when it's going to count. I'm being watched by God.

2. I will reap whatever I sow.

Gal. 6:7 "Don't be misled, remember ... a man will always reap just the kind of crop he sows!"

Whatever you give out in life is what you're going to get back. If I cheat other people, I'm going to get cheated. God says it will happen, count on it. If I take advantage of other people, I will be taken advantage of. I will reap what I sow.

On the other hand this will work for you if you use it the right way. If you are honest and you maintain integrity in all your decisions, God says I will make sure you're blessed. Whatever you sow you're going to reap.

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