What’s the point of stealing? Perhaps the greatest deception of stealing is believing that something belongs to us once it is in our possession. Our instincts tell us: if it is in our possession, then it belongs to us. When we steal from others, we can easily justify it. When others steal from us, we want justice!
As Christians, we must remember that we do not own anything in our possession, but we are mere stewards of whatever God has graciously given us. We must also remember that everything God has given to our stewardship has been given for one overall purpose; to glorify Him. Just because God entrusted us with whatever temporary pleasures we enjoy, it doesn’t mean that we should use any of it selfishly.
If we are honest with ourselves, we will be able to see just how often we are guilty of believing what we have actually belongs to us. For a Christian to steal from another person (whether it is a faceless corporation, small business, or someone’s personal belongings) is to breach the trust that should exist between two human beings. To steal from another person also communicates the feeling that “What God has given someone else, should really belong to us”. This is a display of a lack in faith that God: 1) has already sufficiently provided for our needs, 2) will not be faithful to give us what we need in the future.
Stealing from one another in various ways is not the only way that Christians will often give into temptation, but stealing from God is something that we all are guilty of many times. Every moment that we deceive ourselves into believing that we are owners of what we have as opposed to stewards, we are guilty of stealing from God in those moments. It is in those moments when we will justify using what we have for our own selfishness and not for God’s glory first and foremost in mind.
One time I borrowed a car from a friend. Although this was a very gracious act of kindness on my friend’s part, I was still responsible to treat it in a way that my friend wanted me to treat it. I was not to: eat in the car, go more than a certain distance at a time, drive it in certain neighborhoods, leave the doors unlocked, as well as several other specific instructions he gave to me. For me to neglect his wishes in how I treated his car, I believe it is a form of stealing in that I would be treating the car as if it belonged to me.
If we can all relate to how we would feel if someone mistreated our possessions when they borrowed from us, then how much more should we be able to understand how God feels when we act as if we are owners of what He is allowing us to “borrow” for the time being. Here are some questions that can be helpful for Christians to better use what God has given them for His glory:
- How can my home be better used for God’s glory?
- Is my home-life honoring to Him?
- Is my home a place where the Word is prominent
- Is my home a place of peace and not strife?
- Is my home consistently a proper witness to my neighbors?
- Am I honoring God with my children in my parenting?
- Am I taking my role as a Christian parent seriously in teaching my children God’s Word and the Gospel?
- Am I allowing God’s Word to guide my parenting decisions?
- Is my work-life glorifying God?
- Am I a consistent witness for God in my: ethics, behavior, and integrity in the workplace?
- Am I being too obsessed with how much money I am making/want to make?
- Do I tend to have an idolatrous attitude towards my possessions?
- How am I valuing God above what He has given me?
I hope these questions are helpful for you in maturing in your faith in Christ. These are the kinds of questions God places on my heart during my daily devotions, and He never fails to discipline, convict, and encourage me through His sanctifying Spirit!
I encourage you to also reflect on the passage below from 1 Corinthians 6:9-11:
“Or do you not know the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 
Even if, hypothetically speaking, stealing was the only sin you were guilty of; you would still qualify as being unrighteous before a holy God and therefore deserving of His righteous judgment against you as a sinner and transgressor of His holy standard. However, when a person places their faith in Christ for their salvation (and not their own self-righteousness), they are promised to be washed of all their filthiness/sinfulness, sanctified in the image of Christ, and justified before God which results in eternal life.
This is the good news that we need to share with others.