Summary: Not only SIMPLE STEALING, but 5 other types of SOPHISTICATED STEALING, as well as the truth about SPIRITUAL STEALING. Link inc. to formatted text, audio, and PowerPoint.
It Takes a Thief
The popular TV show is back, where crooks teach us how to protect ourselves from people like them. But the Bible says, we ARE people like them!
Synonyms for stealing:
Extortion, burglary, defraud, misappropriate, cheat, embezzle, rob, swindle.
Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
When Israel conquered Jericho they were instructed not to take of the spoils of that city...but one guy was just ‘Achan’ to have these things himself. It resulted in judgment for everyone, and Joshua was told by God to take Achan, his family, and all his possessions, stone them, pile them in a heap, and burn them to ashes. Then Joshua turned to Israel and said, “Now don’t steal.” Do you think they got the message that day?
Used to be you’d go to bed at night and not worry about locking the door. Today we lock it, put bars on the windows, install a security system, and train the dog to kill! Same with our cars. We not only lock them everywhere now, but we put ‘The Club’ on the wheel, take the face off the stereo, and lock the hubcaps. In some neighborhoods they’ll take your paint job at a stop light!
But we’re all guilty in this matter, in one way or another. It goes all the way to the top as some in ministry misappropriate funds, politicians and CEOs alike do shady deals. I heard an estimate that if you stopped all theft in America we would balance the national budget in 3 years!
1. Simple Stealer
This is the common, ordinary thief. From cds, cigarettes and batteries to bicycles, cars, and the like. Why buy when you can just take!
Ill.—man told his wife to fire the maid...he caught her stealing their bath towels. His wife asked, “Which towels did she take?” “The ones we got on vacation from that Holiday Inn!
Ill.—a politician in Washington was jumped in a park by thugs who told to give them all his money, or they’d blow his brains out. He replied, “Go ahead, I’ve lived in this town all my life and I know you can get along fine here without brains, but not without money!”
Shoplifting—How strong do you have to be to do this? Seriously, the US Dept. of Commerce estimates that 35 million Americans engage in this every year. That’s one in every 50 shoppers. About 5 million get caught. Next time you go to Wal-Mart, look around at the other 500 people in there, and realize that 10 of them are there to steal something! Who pays for that? We all do!
Some take candy from a jar, change from a pop machine, or at home from your own parents. Or maybe you stole a glance at your neighbor’s paper in school...and then stole their answers!
Know this: That God knows about it. And there’s no statute of limitations with Him. Make it right!
The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
Most thieves look left and right, before and behind, to see if someone was watching, but they need to look up! They ‘eye in the sky’ is a hidden camera in every place, and the only way to erase the tape is to immerse it in the blood of Christ!
Making it right involves not only confession, but also making restitution.
Ill.—Zacchaeus got saved and restored to everyone he had wronged 4 fold.
The Simple stealer...
2. Sophisticated Stealer
Even Christians fall prey to these things, and don’t realize they are stealing.
• Employee theft—“The Day America Told the Truth” is a very revealing book on ethics. When it comes to work ethics, the average employee said they spent 20% of their time goofing off. Over ½ surveyed said they called in sick on occasion when all they were sick of was working. You are a liar and a thief when you do so. Other employees told of coming in late and leaving early, taking extended breaks, falsifying their time card, making personal calls when not allowed, surfing the internet, and lying on expense accounts. It is stealing when you don’t give honest work for honest pay.
Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
Ill.--JC Penney recalled riding on a street car and the driver not asking for his nickel. He got home and told his father about it, who replied, Son, today you sold your honor for a nickel!
• Employer theft—business owners, bosses...listen up.
Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.