The Heart of a Thief – 8th Commandment

The Heart of a Thief – 8th Commandment

Exodus 20:15

Stealing is an action, but like murder, and like adultery, you don’t have to actually steal to have the heart of a thief. There are a couple distinct qualities at work in the heart of a thief. The heart of a thief is the heart of one who desires and is not content. The heart of a thief is also absolutely selfish. There are a million ways and a million things to steal if that’s your heart. You can steal someone’s reputation by falsely accusing him or by gossiping about her. You can steal music or movies by sharing files. You can steal from your society and community by cheating on taxes or taking welfare or assistance when you don’t truly need it, aren’t worthy of it, or haven’t told the truth in requesting it. A person changed by the Gospel is a person who no longer has the heart of a thief. Their longings have changed. They are no longer discontent or dissatisfied. They are no longer utterly focused on self. Two of the most beautiful fruits of the Gospel are contentment and love. Becoming a Christian doesn’t make us perfect in these areas. But we do gain a hunger and thirst for righteousness. And we do gain the Holy Spirit who lovingly convicts us, and when we repent, ushers us back into peace and closeness with God. I don’t think the test here is: do you ever steal anything from anyone on any level. I’m guessing you do. The test is, has my heart been changed about stealing? Am I seeing different longings in me? Am I seeing a love for others in me that is like the love of Jesus that compels me to be generous, sacrificial, and others-centered? And am I seeing a heart that feels convicted when I sin? And wants to repent and turn to God? That’s the test of faith: Am I satisfied in Christ? And do I truly love others?

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