“You shall not steal.” Exodus 20:15
Q: What is the eighth commandment?
A: You shall not steal.
What does this mean?
Because we worship and love God, we shouldn’t take other people’s money or property and cheat them, but instead, we should help them improve and protect what belongs to them.
What do you think is the opposite of stealing? If God wants us to stop doing something, wouldn’t you think He would want us to start doing something instead?
If stealing involves taking something that is not ours, wouldn’t it follow that the opposite of stealing would be giving something that is ours? What would you call that? The Bible calls that generosity.
Generosity is very important in God’s mind because it shows that we understand how He has been so generous with us. Can you think of anything more generous than giving not just your money but your very life for someone? That is what God did for us in Jesus. He gave His very life so that we didn’t have to bear the wrath of God for our sin. The debt was too much, and we didn’t have any money. God took our debt upon Himself and paid it in full.
This is the essence of generosity, and generosity is the opposite of stealing. Our God loves generosity because He is a generous God.
Read Philippians 2:3–8:
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
- How does this text show us Jesus’ generosity?
- Can you think of people in your life who have modeled this kind of generosity to you?
- In what ways could you grow in generosity?
Our Father, thank You so much that You have been so generous with us in Jesus. May we have His same mind and heart toward our neighbors and family. May stealing be the last inclination of our heart because You have done the opposite to us. You have given all that we need that is most important. Thank You so much. In Jesus’ name, Amen.