“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his...
“Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands…” Ephesians 4:28
What is the difference between stealing and giving?
The Apostle Paul makes the argument that the difference is hard work. This is why he encourages believers to work with our hands and not steal. (Eph. 4:28)
Paul is expounding on what it looks like to live this new life in Christ. That work is honorable. That labor is worthwhile. That an honest day’s work with your hands is commendable for the believer because it provides an opportunity to share with someone in need. Because giving to those who are in need reflects walking in the new self.
While working opens the door to be a blessing to others, stealing does the opposite. Judas was a thief who took money, and a robber because of how he violently betrayed trust.
Throughout the Blueprints series, we are learning from the Ten Commandments how God’s people can love God and love people. Paul helps us see that one way we love people is by not stealing from them, but instead working hard with our hands offering others a blessing.
Working and stealing are rarely spoken of in the same breath, yet Paul helps us see that they’re connected because of people’s needs.
May we love God and His people by working hard to be a blessing!
Heavenly Father, help me work for you so that I might be a blessing to others. Forgive me when my desire has been to steal. Give me a heart not to steal the possessions or dreams of others, but to be a blessing instead. Amen
For Further Reading