2006-12-18 - Thou Shalt Not Steal
Originally Published 2005-12-18
Editor's Note: I would like to add one thought to Cheryl's excellent devotional. In addition to being wrong - burning CDs (as well as many "wrong" behaviors) is against the law. Even if someone does it just to share a song with a friend - and makes no money - it is still illegal. And per Romans 13 we Christians are normally to obey the Earthly authorities and should be leading the way in obeying the law.
I trust God will use this devotional to bless many of you.
Exodus 20:15 "Thou shall not steal."
"Thou shall not steal." Simple and easy to understand, right? Yet, just this morning, I was talking with my teenage daughter, who was shocked and amazed that a local school had expelled a student for giving a "burned" CD to a friend. Much of today's society has set their limits on the "sin level." In other words, if it doesn't hurt this person, why does it matter? Or if this person never finds out, and how can they, then they can't be hurt by it, so why does it matter? Or even "but everyone does it, so why does it matter?" Why have we forgotten or chosen to ignore the simple commandments of the Bible?
My daughter asked me, "How can it hurt them, if they don't know?" Is it right to take something away from someone simply because they had more than we did? This artist works hard to do their job. This is their job; it's how they make their money, support their household. Even if they never do find out, and chances are they probably won't, it will hurt them simply because it has taken away something that is rightfully theirs. The fact that they may remain ignorant of it doesn't make it right or acceptable.
However, more importantly, it's not about them. It's really about you - and how it affects you. People think that things like this don't affect them. I admit, shamefully, that even I felt this way once about burning CDs. But God's convicting power came to me and explained His will to me. When everything is all finally said and done, it is really all about you. Why? Stealing is a sin. "Thou shall not steal." It doesn't have addendum to it, which allows for stealing if ... No, it's simple and straightforward.
We want to add on to the Word and make exceptions to it. Because it suits us, then it must be ok, but our lives are not about ourselves. Truly, it is about God and God's will for us. His will is not for us to decide what is good and right and acceptable, but to simply follow what He tells us is good and right and acceptable. He understands, far more than we do, how impossible that really is for us. There are many, many things that are now considered "the norm" in our society today. Although it is easy to follow, let us instead be convicted of the truth of God's Word and follow it, simply and earnestly.
Thou shall not steal." Let us not steal from God either. Let's be willing to give Him everything and trust Him implicitly, disregarding our own opinions and desires, and instead following Him.
Lord, help us today, to take the Word as Your word of truth. Help us be convicted in all areas of our lives. Help us especially, Lord, not to take anything for granted or to become complacent in our relationship with You. Give us the strength to stand strongly and alone, if necessary, to accomplish Your will for our lives. Let us not just run in the race, but let us run with all of our hearts, strength, mind, and soul toward You. Let our lives glorify You and You alone. And let us be a light to show others who You truly are.
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