February 25, 2022

Don’t Take What Isn’t Yours

Malachi 3:6-12

“You shall not steal.”

—  Deuteronomy 5:19

I have never felt angrier than when someone stole from me. How could they take what was mine?!

My anger reflects that I have respect and honor for myself and for the things I have.

Every person deserves honor and respect because we are all made in the image of God. We also have property and ideas that should be honored. People make promises to us, and they should honor those promises.

We show honor when we credit others with what they are due. They are due the things they have rightfully earned. If they have earned a good reputation in their field, we need to give them credit. If they have earned a high position, we need to honor that. If they have performed a good deed, we need to thank them.

Belittling or denying the good that others do is a form of stealing. If we do that, we have taken away the honor they deserve.

God is the original owner of all good things. He gives a variety of good things to various people.

If we fail to recognize those good things in others, or if we take or destroy them, we are undoing God’s design for creation.

How could we take what is God’s or what God has given to others?

O God, forgive us for taking what is not ours. Forgive us for not giving honor to others. Help us to respect the gifts and abilities that you have given to all. Amen.

About the author — Kent Van Til

Kent Van Til was a missionary in Costa Rica. He taught theological ethics both there and in the USA. He is the author of four books. The most recent is a spiritual biography of his grandmother entitled, "A Name for Herself: A Dutch Immigrant's Story." Kent likes to fish, hunt, make music, and entertain his grandchildren.

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