Summary: Thousands of year ago, God put in place 10 key values that can make a difference in the life of every family. The Ten Commandments have stood the test of time. Discover how these important values apply to every single person, every married couple, and every family regardless of size or makeup.
Today we are going to jump ahead to the 8th Commandment, even though this is week 7 of the series. We’ll come back around and pick up commandment #7 in the final week of the series.
Exodus 20:15 (NIV)
15 "You shall not steal.
There will undoubtedly be some push back to some of what I am about to say. Pay attention to that.
As always, I just want to encourage you to be open to the Word of God and what the Spirit of God may be saying to you today.
Did you know there are somewhere around 130 synonyms for stealing?
Here are just Some of the ways people choose to steal:
1. Deceiving customers.
The Old Testament prophet, Amos explained how people were cheating the helpless.
Amos 8:5b (NLT)
5b You measure out grain with dishonest measures and cheat the buyer with dishonest scales.
Does that sound familiar?
It reminds me of when…
• A repairman makes unnecessary repairs.
• A doctor runs unnecessary tests.
• Or when someone sells a car and doesn't tell the buyer the truth about why they are selling it.
If you do these kinds of things, you are deceiving the customer and that is just one form of stealing.
2. Defrauding employers.
Defrauding employers can include everything from wasting time on the job, padding your expense account, or taking home supplies, equipment, or merchandise that doesn’t belong to you.
And people are the masters at justifying this kind of behavior.
We decide that the company owes us, so we balance accounts by taking things that don’t belong to us and by cutting corners on our hours to make up the difference.
These are forms of stealing. God says, don't do it!
3. Delaying payments.
This is about more than waiting until the due date on a bill.
Leviticus 19:13 (NLT)
13 “Do not defraud or rob your neighbor. “Do not make your hired workers wait until the next day to receive their pay.
If you have employees, or suppliers, or friends that you owe money to, the principle here is to stop putting them off and pay them what you owe them.
It may seem like good business to keep their money and use it for other things or to try to gain a little interest, but that plan never sounds as good when you are the one waiting to be paid.
If anyone is going to leverage those dollars, it should be the ones who earned it.
4. Defaulting on loans.
A lot of people borrow money they have no intention of paying back.
The worst loans are often those made to friends and family.
Psalm 37:21a (NLT)
21a The wicked borrow and never repay…
This principle is not just about bankruptcy, or defaulting on a loan.
It really applies to anything we borrow including tools, punch bowls, DVD’s, you name it.
Is there anything in your garage that you need to return to the rightful owner?
How about in your closet or somewhere else in your house?
You may consider it long-term borrowing, but in the strictest sense, you are defaulting on a loan.
5. Defrauding or deceiving the government.
Romans 13:6-7a (NIV)
6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing.
7a Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue;
Tax avoidance is good stewardship.
There's no reason anyone should overpay their taxes.
A wise steward will plan ahead and try to maximize their money. There's nothing wrong with that.
Bu there is a difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion. Tax evasion is illegal and it represents another form of stealing.
6. Defrauding the Lord.
Malachi 3:8 (NIV)
8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' "In tithes and offerings.
The tithe is a tenth or ten percent.
The Bible teaches that the first 10% of all I make goes back to God as an expression of gratitude for all that He has given me.
If it weren’t for the Lord, none of us would have anything.
Tithing is a tangible way to put God first by returning the first 10% of all I make back to God.
He could have said return 20%, 50% but He just said 10%.
I don't know why He chose 10%, but He did.
So, God basically says, if I am paying my bills or buying things with the tithe (that first 10%), I am robbing Him.
These are just a few of the ways a person may be guilty of stealing. This commandment to not steal is really a call to be honest.
Here’s why it is so important to be honest: