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Series: The Ten Commandments
The Eighth Commandment:
Thou Shalt Not Steal

Exodus 20:15, NRSV
Ephesians 4:28, NRSV

Reflections

If 10 percent of the bid rigging, if 10 percent of the fraud, if 10 percent of the price gouging, if 10 percent of the wasted time by employees, if 10 percent of the breaking in, or if 10 percent of the stealing that was going on in New York City was gone, if 10 percent of the people of this city had an experience of God in such a way they got convicted and their consciences started to screw down better and they began to stop stealing, there would be billions pumped into the economy.
Whenever you ever read anything about how much it costs to live or to produce things in New York, you have to stick at least a 25 percent tax on top of it. It’s an imaginary tax. It’s called the corruption tax. It’s because of the way things are done. It’s because of the bribes. It’s because of the kickbacks. It’s because of the bid rigging. It’s because of the outright corruption. It’s because of the subtle corruption. It’s because of the unpaid taxes. It’s because of all the cheating. It’s because it’s a cash-based economy where nobody tries to pay his or her taxes. It’s because of all that stuff.
The entire superstructure, as great as it is in a place like New York City, is eroding and is going to come down, because four words (“Thou shalt not steal.”) aren’t being taken seriously.

— Tim Keller
in a sermon preached in New York City, June 1994

  • One word to describe feelings of a theft victim: violated
  • Why do I not let my desire run wild?
  • Not only we are commanded not to steal, but also to work
  • Work is one main purpose of being human
  • But when there is stealing, between human to human, country to country, corporation to people, world becomes chaotic
  • Father to son on working: Do you want to eat?
  • Responsibility of “Right-keeping”
  • Work honestly, “as to have something to share with the needy.” (v28)
  • Work as hard as possible, so that you can give it away
  • God owns everything, it’s all His
  • We are the steward of all things
  • As a Christian, just because we can spend money on things, we can choose not to; we can choose to share the wealth
  • We might think we earn it all, but it was really God who gives us every living breathe
  • Without God’s intervention in our lives, we let our desire run wild

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