Welcome to the ninth edition of Maximizing Ministry Part X. Today we explore The Eighth Commandment.
Exodus 20:15 “Thou shalt not steal.”
God is our Jehovah – Jireh, “our provider” (Genesis 22:14). Since God does not rank sin, stealing is as bad as breaking any other of His laws. If we desire what we do not have, we must carefully observe our reason for having whatever it is that we lack. If we are stealing because we are trying to gain possessions that give us status, this is a result of covetousness (the 10th Commandment). If we are stealing because we genuinely need something, this thievery often shows a disbelief in God’s ability to provide for our needs; rather than asking in faith, we take matters into our own hands and deal with the consequences.
If we steal what we need, God may forgive our sin if we ask Him, but we have disallowed the strengthening of our faith and the performance of His care. For we do not know whether if by asking, we would have received what we require (Matthew 7:7). If we take a different approach to getting what we want, we will rather focus on the opposite of receiving, and give.
Luke 6:38 – Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7) and rewards giving according to His Word (Malachi 3:10). If you need something pay attention to your giving. Tithing is a principle of God; and a good offering is over and above the tithe. Tithe is not limited to money. You can tithe of your time, your talent, and your possessions. If you do not have money to give away, give your clothes that you do not wear. Volunteer to be a mentor to someone who needs that support.
Getting Over It
Stop obsessing. You have heard the adage, “out of sight, out of mind.” Stealing is a result of obsession. When you obsess about something, you are soon convinced that you cannot do without that thing. Turn the page of your mind and put a halt to the constant train of thought that blinds you to the downside of what you are contemplating. If what you want is something you encounter often, put some distance between you and that thing.
Get a hobby. Believe it or not, the obsessive mind is often so because of boredom. Do something constructive with that extra adrenaline and you will gradually change your focus. You may find that the right, safe and enjoyable hobby will unlock endorphins just as well as an alternative bad habit.
Work for it. If what you want is not something counterproductive, illegal, unethical, or immoral, find out how to earn it rightfully. If you are tired of walking and want a bike, see how you can earn the money that you need to buy the bike. Check out stores that refurbish bikes and your cost may decrease considerably. If you have to charge it because you cannot afford what you want, consider saving up instead of buying on credit.
Previous Edition | Next Edition