Summary: God tells the one who steals to stop, trust Him to provide for his needs, and work to give to others.
“Stop thief !!” -or- “The only thing that God allows you to steal is 2nd base”
I became personally acquainted with robbers and robbery 11 years ago, when just after I was married, Tammy turned to me and said, “What’s yours’ is mine now, and what’s mine is . . . still mine!”
A Sunday school teacher was teaching her class about the difference between right and wrong. "All right children, let’s take another example," she said. "If I were to get into a man’s pocket and take his billfold with all his money, what would I be?" Little Johnny raises his hand, and with a confident smile,
he blurts out, "You’d be his wife!"
Here in the last 9 months or so, as gas prices have shot up, the incidences of people stealing gasoline has greatly increased. You may have noticed that at many gas stations, there are now little notices that kindly tell you that if you drive off without paying for your gas, you can have your license taken away. Have you ever done that by accident? One morning, I was at the office and had to reach into my pocket to get something and discovered that I had $3 in my pocket. Now normally, finding money in your pocket that you didn’t know was there is a good thing. But virtually as soon as I found it, I realized that was the money that I was supposed to give to the cashier for the gas that I had gotten on the way to work. I suppose that I had so much on my mind that morning that I just got in the car after pumping the gas and drove away. Upon discovering my error, I quickly took the money back to that store and told them my story.
Not only have drive-offs greatly increased, but also, the incidences of people stealing gas out of cars through siphoning has greatly increased too. I read about one young man who got a lot more than he bargained for when he tried this approach. “Any thief knows that the easiest way to steal gasoline from a car is to siphon it from the other guy’s tank into your own. Stick a rubber hose in his gas tank suck on the other end of the rubber hose until you get a mouth full of the gas, then spit it out. From then on the gasoline will flow into your tank. A thief decided to siphon gas from Dennis Quiggley’s motor home in Seattle. When Dennis, inside the motor home, heard the noises outside he investigated [and] discovered the thief curled upon the ground violently vomiting. Intending to suck up the contents of the gas tank the thief had put his hose into the wrong hole--and had sucked up the contents of the sewage tank instead. The thief, a boy 14 will not be prosecuted, Dennis and the police agree that he has suffered enough.” --Associated Press. This young man learned the hard way that there are some very distasteful consequences to making stealing a part of your life.
This morning, we are going to deal with the 8th of the 10 commandments – “Thou shalt not steal”. Again, like most of the other commands, the temptation here is to think that this doesn’t apply to you. The only thing you’ve ever stolen in your life is a piece of candy in your brother’s room. How bad can that be? But as we deal with this command, I want you to deal with this issue. Do you really believe that God knows better than you do exactly what your real needs are, do you really believe that God will honor His promise to meet those needs, and are you willing to wait for God’s timing on the fulfillment of your needs. God has a plan for how He is going to meet your needs. Let’s take a look at what that plan includes.
1. God’s plan for the provision of our needs does not include stealing.
Is this stealing?
1. Accepting incorrect change
2. Over-estimating your deductions on your taxes (Matt. 22:21 “Render unto Caesar . . . “)
3. Not working to your full potential at your job [Titus 2:9-10] (i.e. getting to work late and leaving work early; only giving minimum wage work for a minimum wage job; only working your hardest when the boss is looking; a large problem at many jobs right now is that workers are spending a large percentage of their time sending and receiving e-mails, surfing through the internet, and viewing pornography on the net)
4. Taking more/longer coffee breaks than your boss allows
5. Not challenging a bill that you know is incorrect in your favor (we’ll quickly challenge a bill that costs us more than what we think is right, but an error in our favor, we chalk up as a blessing from God and never bother to check it out; most businesses, especially restaurants, will probably leave the bill as is if the error was in your favor; do you know how powerful a testimony it is for you to go back to that cashier and tell them that they under-charged you!?)