Matthew 5.19 cont.
19 Whoever, then should break one of the least of these commandments and should teach men to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever shall practices and teach them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Following on from not committing murder or adultery is the command not to steal. Once again we can see that this is linked with murder and adultery, since to murder someone is to steal their life, and to commit adultery is to steal someone’s wife or husband.
Both rob families.
Perhaps it is also true to say that all theft is theft against God.
It is He who gives us everything we need. Therefore, to take something that belongs to someone else means that we are depriving them of something that God has given them. What is stolen may bring temporary fulfilment, but in the end that which is stolen will bring a curse.
The person who steals displays a lack of faith and trust in God to provide for all their needs.
No doubt most of us want more than we have. We want more gadgets, especially the latest ones. Some want a bigger car, or the latest sound system etc. However, the vast majority of people would not go and steal what we want.
Stealing is not just about material things, it’s also about our work ethic.
Paul wrote these words:
- Slaves, you must obey your earthly lords with reverence and trembling (be anxious to serve) with a sincere heart, as though you are serving Christ,
- Not only when your master is present (eye service) as a pleaser of men, but as slaves of Christ who are doing God’s will from your heart (soul),
- Serving with good will as you do to the Lord and not as to men.
It is our Heavenly Father who gives us work and earthly bosses. Therefore, we honour our Heavenly Father as we carry out our work as though serving Jesus. Not to do so is to rob our bosses of what God has put us there for.
It could be said that ‘throwing a sickie’ is stealing time from our employers. This is true if we are not ill and only want a day off.
Stealing is perhaps more common place than we realize and it happens in various ways. We must allow the Holy Spirit to convict us of any areas where we might be stealing from others, and then respond with confession and repentance.