Summary: Let us put away stealing we are admonished by God’s word. Let us look at the different aspects of this in our lives.
Put Away Stealing
Zig Ziglar tells of a thief, a man named Emmanuel Nenger. The year is 1887. The scene is a small neighborhood grocery store. Mr. Nenger is buying some turnip greens. He gives the clerk a $20 bill. As the clerk begins to put the money in the cash drawer to give Nr. Nenger his change, she notices some of the ink from the $20 bill is coming off on her fingers which are damp from the turnip greens. She looks at Mr. Nenger, a man she has known for years. She looks at the smudged bill. This man is a trusted friend; she has known him all her life; he can’t be a counterfeiter. She gives Mr. Nenger his change, and he leaves the store. But $20 is a lot of money in 1887, and eventually the clerk calls the police. They verify the bill as counterfeit and get a search warrant to look through Mr. Nenger’s home. In the attic they find where he is reproducing money. He is a master artist and is painting $20 bills with brushes and paint! But also in the attic they find three portraits Nenger had painted. They seized these and eventually sold them at auction for $16,000 (in 1887 currency, remember) or a little more than $5,000 per painting. The irony is that it took Nenger almost as long to paint a $20 bill as it did for him to paint a $5,000 portrait! It’s true that Emanuel Nenger was a thief, but the person from whom he stole the most was himself. Signs of the Times, Oct. 1988, p. 22-3.
Don’t steal God’s riches blessings from yourself and those around you…
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. Ephes. 4:28
We Christians are to take off the filthy garment of stealing.
“Steal” klepto, klep’-to; a primary verb; to filch :- steal; means to cheat, to take wrongfully from another person, either legally or illegally.
We must remember that the laws of man are not the determining rule governing whether a person is stealing or not. This is what is so often misunderstood about stealing.
Þ Men can sometimes use the law to steal.
Þ Men can take from others without ever breaking a law.
Þ Men can secure too much of something, well beyond what they need; and when they hoard, they are taking something that by nature belongs to others.
The Bible teaches us that stealing is the taking of anything that rightfully or by nature belongs to others.
There are at least three forms of stealing.
A person steals by taking something which is actually possessed or personally owned by another person.
If a person owns it and we take it, then we are guilty of stealing.
It may be something as simple as a pencil at the office or an answer to a test from a fellow student, or it may be something as complex as embezzlement of funds through bookkeeping procedures.
If we take it, we break God’s commandment and stand guilty as thieves.
“Not purloining [stealing], but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things” (Titus 2:10).
“But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief” (1 Peter 4:15).
“A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight” (Proverbs 11:1).
“It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer: but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth” (Proverbs 20:14).
“The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death” (Proverbs 21:6).
“He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress” (Hosea 12:7).
A person steals by hoarding and banking more than he needs.
Keeping back is stealing. It is...
·keeping what is not needed for one’s own needs.
·keeping back what is desperately needed by others.
·taking away what nature and the earth provide for the needs of the others.
·hoarding the knowledge, gifts and blessings God gives us to use for the welfare of a desperate world filled with so many less privileged and gifted.
You can call it by whatever name you wish, but to God it is stealing.
God places within the earth enough resources to meet the needs of HIS people, and HE has given men both the ability and command to subdue and have dominion over the earth. Look closely at His command:
“And God blessed them [man and woman], and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:28).