What Does the Bible Say About...Stealing ?
By Betty Miller
John 10:10: "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to
kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it
The thief Jesus is referring to in this scripture is Satan, himself.
The Lord contrasts the work of the devil as stealing, killing and destroying, while
the work of the Lord is to bring abundant life to His people. Notice that a thief
doesn't stop at the one sin of stealing, but rather progresses on to kill and destroy.
Many people do not realize that what they think as just taking seemingly little
things, can lead to taking bigger things and ultimately one becomes a thief. The
"little fox" of stealing the towels from the motel, shop lifting small items,
and keeping things that do not belong them, could lead to a dangerous pattern which could
eventually lead to one being imprisoned for theft.
Shoplifting alone costs our businesses enormous amounts of money which
causes all consumers to have to pay higher prices for goods. When a nation stoops to
thievery in any form, it hurts all the people. In recent news articles, we
have seen how thievery on a national level has jeopardized the safety of our whole country
because of people stealing our national secrets and selling them to our potential enemies.
We must pray for this element of sin in our society to be removed. We, as
Christians, know this can only happen through the Lord changing men's hearts and giving
them power over the sin in their lives. We must pray for revival in our nation so that
honor and honest will prevail in our national life.
We must also check our own lives to see if we are failing God by yielding
to stealing or cheating. We may not realize that some of the things we do constitute just
that -- stealing. However, we don't recognize it as such. Here is a small
checklist of some of things that would classify us as a thief:
(1.) Taking the salt and pepper shakers from restaurants.
(2.) Taking the towels from hotels and motels.
(3.) Short-changing people at check out counters on purpose.
(4.) Shoplifting and taking anything that does not belong to us.
(5.) Using scales that are not in balance when selling by weight. (Proverbs
11:1, "A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his
(6.) Giving a full days work for a full days pay, as you are stealing time
from your boss if you don't.
(7.) Padding the expenses accounts of your employer.
(8.) Charging people excessive interest on borrowed money (usury). (Ezekiel
22:12-13, "In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and
increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten
me, saith the Lord GOD. Behold, therefore I have smitten mine hand at thy dishonest gain
which thou hast made, and at thy blood which hath been in the midst of thee.")
(9.) Cheating on school exams, as this is stealing a qualification you
(10.) Over-charging or over-pricing of the sale of goods.
(11.) "Borrowing" items from a friend and never returning them.
(12.) Borrowing money from anyone (friend or institution) and failing to
This is just a short list but it will serve as a checklist for some people
who only think of thievery as as someone who robs a bank and is guilty of extortion.
Our world is full of thieves at every level as there are scam artists who
talk people out of their money everyday. They particularly prey on the elderly and
have been able to rob many of them of their entire life savings. We must ask the
Lord for an honest heart in the little areas of our lives as the small dishonest things we
do can lead to larger sins that we would regret later. Don't let the "little
fox" of stealing be one of the things that would bring dishonor to the Lord.
This article was
taken from the Overcoming Life Digest (September/October 1999 Issue); click here
to view Digest