…” If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need.” Eph. 4:28 NLT
I just looked at America’s national debt clock. We are currently $14,272.208,…,… in debt. We are spending about $1,301,087,950,… more a year than we take in. The dots stand for numbers changing too quickly to write down.
If we are going to stand through the storms coming on the world, we are going to have to change some things individually. If we want our country to stand through those same storms, we are going to have to change some things culturally.
Paul says “stop stealing!”
Right up front that means, “If you’re breaking and entering CUT IT OUT!”
I do trust, however, that most of my readers are not moon-lighting as cat burglars. That doesn’t mean this verse has nothing to say to us. Culturally we have issues with wanting things that don’t belong to us… that is things God never intended for us to have. We spend more than we earn and think this is somehow O.K. with the Lord. A mindset exists which says “surely God would not deny me anything I want.”
I challenge you to find that in the Bible. What you will find is this : “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.” Psalm 23:1 NIV
David puts the onus on us. God shepherds. God provides. Therefore we will not allow ourselves to be wanting what He hasn’t provided. Wanting to acquire things outside of God’s provision is coveting. Taking things that God has not provided so easily turns into stealing.
I know what I’m talking about here, because I’ve lived beyond my means to the brink of financial ruin. I nearly took my whole family down with me. The recovery process has been slow and painful but necessary, if I am to stand through what lies ahead.
Tolstoy said “Wealth is knowing what you can live without.”
I am in the process of learning just that. Like so many of my fellow Americans I have a problem with self-control; Self-control, is a fruit of the Spirit according to Galatians 5:22. It’s not something I can produce in great quantities naturally. However God can!
In the verse above, Paul is very clear about what we must do in order to stop a stealing spirit from inhabiting our hearts. When we work hard at honest labor and when we give generously to others, the Holy Spirit is given a door way into our lives which allows Him to come in and create self-control.
In the hour it has taken me to type this blog our national debt has increased to $14,727,327,…,…! It’s up to us to change. No one else can do it for us.
We’ve gotta stand!