This content is part of a series.
Cheating Yourself (8 of 10)
Ten Commandments Series
Exodus 20:15; Ephesians 4:28; Malachi 3:8-14
INTRO: When we think of "stealing" we usually picture a hardened criminal like a bank robber or the "cat burglar" or perhaps someone who is a kleptomaniac. Certainly this command speaks to those type of people, but there is another realm to stealing besides the hardened criminal, it is the many ways we find each day in our common lives to steal; such things as robbing someone of compassion, taking away someone's good name with gossip, deciding those pencils the company bought belong at your house instead of the office, and even the failure to give to God His tithes and offerings!
So often people take what is not theirs because they can't or won't wait for it, or believe they shouldn't have to wait for it. We all know that we can't always have what we want when we want it.
ILLUS: The person who looks for quick results in the seed planting of well-doing will be disappointed. If I want potatoes for dinner tomorrow, it will do me little good to plant them in my garden tonight. There are long stretches of darkness and invisibility and silence that separate planting and reaping. During the stretches of waiting, there is cultivating and weeding and nurturing and planting still other seeds. -- Eugene Peterson, Leadership, Vol. 8, no. 4.
Stealing destroys relationships that are built on trust, and it destroys self respect when one receives by theft that which does not belong to them. Stealing destroys character as it breeds corruption. Theft can compromise our relationship with one another and with God, in this way it hurts the soul and society.
PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches us that God condemns the taking of anything that does not rightfully belong to us, that taking from others or from Him that which is not rightfully ours destroys our soul and society.
I. STEALING FROM MAN Ex. 20:15; Eph. 4:28
A. Receiving Eph. 4:28
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