You shall not steal. Exodus chapter 20, verse 15.
Ok, so we get it. We shall not steal. It’s one of the foundations of every peaceful society on earth. I travel a lot, sometimes between 150 and 200 nights per year. Everywhere I go I watch the local news and hear about robberies, cars being stolen, and the like. It’s everywhere, all over the world. Does that make us, as mankind, better? I think not, and I’m betting you would agree. Sometimes I feel that, wherever heaven is, Jesus must be shaking His head in disappointment at all our debauchery.
Isn’t it time that we changed that paradigm?
“From a distance;” do you remember that song? It came out during the first Gulf War, in the early 1990s. From a distance, do you think God is watching us? I do. From a distance and up close both. And since God is watching us, wouldn’t it be a better place if, instead of conspiring ways to take from each other, we conspired on ways to share, be more generous, to give, and to help each other? I’m not naïve: I know ours is a fallen world. I know that all the pretty words, even all the ways we use to explain the 8th commandment, aren’t enough to quickly put an end to all the thievery we commit.
I’m not asking you to change the world. Just your part of it.
Let’s change the game. I’m challenging you to start right now, where you are, today, and walk the higher road. Today, find some way to be generous towards someone. Preferably it would be to a stranger but someone all the same. Pay it forward the next time you go to Starbucks. Give of your time to the people closest to you, whether they’re family, co-workers, or even strangers. Honestly try to help someone in whatever way they need it. Start small, but start anyway.
Start because the commandment still stands as a reminder: we are not to steal. Yet remember that, those beautiful words, Jesus is pointing us to a better way, to not just get hung up on the negative edge of that commandment but, instead, to listen to what He’s saying. What He’s imploring us to do. Instead of stealing, thou shalt give. Instead of taking from each other, how about we use today to find ways to do that? Like I said, I’m not naïve; it won’t make the evening news, and it might not even be a very big thing. But it will make a difference. From the ground up, it will make a difference to someone, and that’s how movements for good should begin. Beside, just like the song says, “God is watching us…from a distance.”
Lord, watch me, empower me, embolden me, live in my heart, and guide me to give as You want me to.
Read Exodus chapter 7, Pharoah’s hardens his heart, so the plagues begin…