STEALING

CATCHING THE THIEF IN YOUR HEART


KEYS FOR LIVING - STEALING

CATCHING THE THIEF IN YOUR HEART

“He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. 

Ephesians 4:28

What Is Stealing?

  • Stealing means to take without right or permission that which belongs to another.
  • Stealing can also mean to keep others from receiving what is rightfully theirs.
    • withholding wages 
    • withholding time 
    • withholding profit 
    • withholding recognition 
    • withholding payment (i.e., alimony, credit card) 

“One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.” 

Proverbs 11:24

  • Stealing is probably the most common crime in society. 
  • Stealing is an umbrella word for various forms of theft:
    • pilfering - stealing small quantities and insignificant items 
    • shoplifting - stealing displayed goods from a store while pretending to be a customer 
    • embezzling - misappropriating money or property entrusted to one’s care
    • swindling - obtaining money or property by deceit or trickery
    • extortion - taking wrongly from another by threats, force or abuse of authority 
    • larceny - legal term used for an act of theft 
    • kidnapping - to seize and detain for ransom
    • cheating - to deprive by trickery 
    • plagiarism - to use and pass off another’s work as one’s own
    • robbery - unlawfully taking the property of another by the use of violence or intimidation
    • burglary - entering a building or other premises with the intent to commit theft
    • slander - making defamatory statements injurious to the reputation or well-being of a person
  • Stealing is forbidden by God in the Ten Commandments. 

“You shall not steal.”

Deuteronomy 5:19

Question: “What is kleptomania?”

Answer: Kleptomania is the recurrent failure to resist impulses to steal unneeded items, accompanied by subjective tension before and emotional reward after the theft. Kleptomania is not motivated by anger, vengeance, delusion or another disorder.  The English word “kleptomania” is made up of the two Greek words klepto, which means “to steal,” and mania, which means “madness.”

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.”

Matthew 6:19

God’s Heart on Stealing 

  • If you steal, you break one of God’s commandments. 

“You shall not steal”

Exodus 20:15

  • Stealing is contrary to God’s nature and the order that He created. If you are a Christian, you are not to be a thief because Christ, who lives in you, is not a thief. 

“Just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy’"

1 Peter 1:15–16 

  • If you steal, you must make restitution beyond the initial value.

"If the stolen animal is found alive in their possession—whether ox or donkey or sheep—they must pay back double” 

Exodus 22:4

  • If you cannot make restitution, you should work for the one you have wronged until the debt is paid. 

“Anyone who steals must certainly make restitution, but if they have nothing, they must be sold to pay for their theft”

Exodus 22:3 

  • If something you borrow is damaged, lost, or stolen, you should pay for it. 

“If anyone borrows an animal from their neighbor and it is injured or dies while the owner is not present, they must make restitution”

Exodus 22:14

  • If you find an item and do not try to locate its owner, you are stealing. 

“If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to return it”

Exodus 23:4 

  • If you steal, it breaks God’s heart because it breaks the law of love. 

“The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” 

Romans 13:9–10

What Does God Say about Stealing

  • If you steal, you break one of God’s commandments. 

“You shall not steal.” Exodus 20:15

  • Stealing is contrary to God’s nature and the order that He created. If you are a Christian, you are not to be a thief because Christ, who lives in you, is not a thief. 

“Just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’ ”

1 Peter 1:15–16 

  • If you steal, you must make restitution beyond the initial value. 

“If the stolen animal is found alive in his possession—whether ox or donkey or sheep—he must pay back ...


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 

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Grace Filled Words:

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”

Luke 16:10

“The way of the guilty is devious, but the conduct of the innocent is upright.”

Proverbs 21:8

Additional Scriptures: 

Titus 2:6–12 

Proverbs 21:6

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