Friday, October 03, 2014

What I Have Taught My Children about Stealing and Coveting

It is disturbing when your child's friend gets busted for stealing. A foolish mother takes a one time incident and cuts her children off from seeing the friend. A wise mother turns it into an opportunity to teach her child about temptation, friendships, honoring the Lord over pleasing man, lust of the eye, pride, forgiveness, grace, restoration, bearing with one another in love (which means we take our thoughts and opinions (pride) out of the equation and simply start demonstrating love), etc. 

When teaching our children about stealing, it can be beneficial to pull stories from the media of people who have stolen and have experienced loss as a result. The purpose is to show how people fall for sin and reap negative consequences. It is not used to disgrace or condemn the person. This is a very powerful teaching tool if used correctly.

It becomes very impacting when you can show how the sin wasn't even necessary and makes the person's choice look pathetic. "The story says she already possessed two vacation homes, her residence, and had a huge bankroll, but she was trying to take the one small home her daughter had as well. Sadly, greed made her look bad and destroyed her relationship with her daughter. How would you feel if you were her daughter? Do you think her daughter will ever forgive her? What do you feel had more lasting value: the home or the relationship? Let's pray for her to change and for their family to be truly healed and functioning for God's glory." 


I printed this and posted it in our home for a while to remind us of our family discussions. Temptation doesn't happen only to the young. Adults need reminders too!

Thou shalt not steal. -God 
It's His law, not a parent's, the court's, or the church's.

It's contradictory to trust God with your tithe and then go steal from a store or another person! Do you truly trust Him to provide or not? It shows through your actions.

While you are stealing from someone else or worrying about what they have, you are experiencing a loss of greater value!

What God has for you is far better than the thing that is not yours. He did not give that to you for a reason. Trust Him!! Be thankful and rejoice in what you have! 

Resist temptation. Honor the Lord with the right choices and reap blessings for your trust and obedience. Not only will God bless you and others respect you, but you will have respect for yourself for making the right choices.

Ask yourself: 

Why dishonor God over something that means so little? Bringing honor to God has lasting value. Owning something has only a temporary value. 

Spiritual check: What does it say about my level of pride that I think I deserve it more than the person God gave it to? Who of the two knows better? (see Proverbs 3:5-6)

Who would I be serving in this? What was the sin that had Satan thrown out of Heaven? (see Ezekiel 28:17)

What does it say about how I value the person I am considering stealing from? Is this "esteeming others better than myself?" (see Philippians 2:3)

Is gaining xxx worth dishonoring the Lord? or losing your integrity and good name over? (see Proverbs 22:1)

How would I feel if God allowed this sin to be exposed and everyone knew? Is it worth that? Did you know Christians are called to expose/reprove unfruitful deeds of darkness? (see Ephesians 5:11, greed mentioned in v3, coveting in v5)

A good Bible study on stealing and what happens or should happen to thieves and liars (often hand in hand) is also very helpful. The Bible has quite a bit to say about both. Maybe it's because we all fall prey to these sins so easily.

John 3:20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.