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Devotionals 2005

Stealing The Shower
February 10, 2005By Ed Wrather

02.10.05

Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. - Ephesians 4:28.

The 17th Century Globe Hotel in Topsham, England has experienced a problem they have never experienced before. Two of their guests made off with some hotel property. No, it wasn’t towels. No, it wasn’t bathrobes. This time it was the…shower! A man and a woman who paid cash were somehow able to make off with the entire shower unit. The hotel owner Liz Hodges said, "I have never experienced anything on this scale before. I just cannot believe someone would do this." Police Sergeant Alan Mobbs added that the theft was very unusual "particularly when you consider the efforts needed to physically take a shower from the wall."

As surprising as it may be to some of us, there are people who make their living by stealing. The name of the occupation goes by various names including burglary, robbery, thievery, larceny, shoplifting, scamming, swindling, defrauding, phishing, cheating, embezzlement, and others. However, there are degrees of involvement in the occupation. Some are full-time, some part-time, and some only an odd job here or there when opportunity presents itself.

Stealing is in opposition to the Christian values of giving, of servanthood, of self-denial, of kindness, and of goodness. Stealing does not add to a person self-worth but instead stealing steals self-worth from anyone participating in the occupation. Stealing does not contribute to others but instead stealing tears down and devalues those who are victimized. In other words, there is no way to justify stealing.

What happens to the person who has been making a living through stealing when they stop stealing? In extreme situations, some are stealing to keep from starving. What happens to that person? When the Scriptures were written it was in a much more difficult time to live than today. God knew that some would face extreme circumstances when they gave up their livelihood. In spite of that, the apostle Paul states plainly "Let him who stole steal no longer." It is Paul’s (and God's) view that the person should obtain God honoring employment and then they will be able to contribute to the support and help of others instead of tearing others down.

I have been contacted in the past by those who have become Christians but are making their living through Internet scams. They live in a part of the world where employment is hard to obtain. How can they give up their "good living" and face an uncertain fate in obtaining employment necessary to survive? It can only be done through faith. We must believe that the Word of God is true and that God will stand by His Word.

It is really the same question that we face when called upon to do anything for God. When I was called to preach, I had to believe that God would provide and sustain me as I sought to be obedient to Him. I could not always see how that was going to happen, but God has been faithful as I have walked with Him day by day. It is by faith too that you turn away from what you know to be wrong and begin what is right; believing God will honor and bless you for doing so. God is sufficient, and He has the power and the resources to sustain you. Philippians 4:19 is the verse for you to believe and stand upon, "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."


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