Eighth

The last seven blog days I’ve written about The Ten Commandments: idea compliment of my grandson.

The eighth commandment is, “Thou shall not steal,” found in Exodus 20:15 (NKJV).

God says, “Do not steal,” that means even a paper clip from the office or the school.

Musicians and movie makers and writers copyright their works so people will pay for their products and not make free copies to use or give away.

It’s very easy to steal sometimes and in our culture and in the media it is glamorized at times.

Older movies like “Bonnie and Clyde,” a 1967 movie starring Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty and “The Sting” come to mind where the viewer roots for the criminals because they’re shown in a sympathetic light. It’s just entertainment and I remember enjoying “The Sting” because Paul Newman and Robert Redford get back at a mean crime boss. He’s much worse than they are. That film released on December 25, 1973.

It seems to me that the lines between entertainment and reality are becoming blurred.

Many years ago in a sociology class, the teacher posed the question, “Does art follow what’s happening in society or does society follow what they’re seeing and hearing in the artistic realm – which includes books, plays, movies, television, etc.?”

We might have talked about hearing about incidents on the news as well.

When people steal and cheat, they end up hurting themselves. My mom used to tell my siblings and me that if we cheated in school we missed out on learning the material and only cheated ourselves.

I love God’s grace. He will forgive us when we sin and He tells us to make it right with the person we sinned against. 1Jn 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (ESV)

Exo 22:1 “If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall repay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. (KJV)

In Exo_22:7, (KJV): If a man shall deliver unto his neighbour money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man’s house; if the thief be found, let him pay double.

In Proverbs 6:30-31, (ESV) People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry, but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold; he will give all the goods of his house.

With consequences like these played out in the Old Testament, hopefully people thought twice before robbing someone.

Wasting time at work is stealing from the employer. If it happens too much, the company may not be able to compete with others and then have to go out of business.

Also, being stolen from traumatizes the victims sometimes. My purse got stolen from me when I volunteered at a place and I saw the man and his young children running down the stairs. I said, “What did he do, steal my purse?”

I immediately checked for my brand new purse that I deliberated over at the store because it was more than I usually paid, even with its sale price. Sure enough, he’d stolen it. What upset me more than the loss of the purse was the fact that he had a number of little ones running behind him. What a terrible example he set for them. It broke my heart. God in His mercy answered my prayers. Within an hour or so, a policeman had called my home. They found it in a dumpster! I had just given another policeman my report. It hadn’t even been filed yet! God is so good! I’ve prayed for that man and the woman and the children to find God and give up their stealing. I may never know the answer to that prayer.

When I hear about people who steal from retirement accounts and from poor persons, I think, they ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Well, as a friend of mine says, “That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”

Once again, it occurs to me that God’s commands make sense.

May God bless you!

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