You shall not steal

I have always wondered about Christians — and especially pastors — who break speeding laws, but preach about living honestly, obediently, and with integrity — even when I also am guilty. We can tend to obey those laws we want and teach others to obey them all.

I remember hearing a preacher tell of how his preacher friend would tell officers “fibs” when he was stopped (not an uncommon thing with him I am led to believe). He would say such things as, “Oh, was I speeding? I guess my mind was on the parishioner in the hospital that I was on my way to visit.” I think we can too easily justify our duplicity too easily in this and other areas. That is why I am re-posting this blog.Read this blog on “stealing” from Eternity Matters:

I was invited to write this for the Stubborn Things blog and am cross-posting it here.


Stealing makes an unspoken yet clear and outrageous claim against God: “You didn’t order the universe properly, so I will fix your mistakes by taking what is rightfully mine.”  Therefore, it is a sin against God and neighbor.

Stealing is typically accompanied by other sins.  The root is the pride in thinking we deserve more.  Coveting leads to stealing just as unrighteousness anger and lust are precursors to the physical acts of murder and adultery and are also violations of the spirit of the law. Lying usually surrounds thefts, and the cover-ups are often worse than the crimes.  In the investigation work my group does I’ve noted that people who steal don’t mind lying about stealing.

We are often clever and subtle in how we take what doesn’t belong to us.  Sure, some steal the old-fashioned way.  I come across those people both at work, when investigating those who steal from my employer, and in prison ministry (it keeps my life in balance).  Most of us are more sophisticated, though, and pretend that we don’t steal because we aren’t physically taking property clearly belonging to another.  We use our spiritual gift of rationalization* not only to justify theft but to pretend that our vice is a virtue.

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