Truly honoring the Eighth Commandment requires more than just not breaking it.
[Darris McNeely] This week our Beyond Today Bible study series is going through the Eighth Commandment, and we've talked about that in an earlier Beyond Today Daily. The Eighth Commandment says, "Thou shalt not steal," Exodus 20:15.
Let me ask you a few questions, different question this time. This was a questionnaire given to people, a true survey, and people responded to these questions. How would you respond? Would you fake an insurance claim? Respondents, many of them said, "It depends on the amount." Second question, would you return a lost wallet? Many responded, "It depends on who owns the wallet." Third question, is it wrong to break the law? Some responded, "It depends on if I can get away with it."
Now what does God's Word tell us? God's Word tells us to obey his Commandments, not to steal. And how we might respond to those questions and those temptations can determine just how honest we are. People have done surveys about people's honesty, and it's surprising. And it's a bit scary that most of the statistical work that's been done in regard to this shows that the majority of people will be, or are capable of being, dishonest at any given time. And that is something for us all to think about, in terms of how we would react to these types of situations, or anything else where our integrity, and when it comes to our honesty on this commandment. Of taking something that is not ours, or withholding something that is due to someone else, how that would impact the decision we would make.
Will we obey God, will we put it first and understand the depth of this particular commandment? The Eighth Commandment speaks to something that is very, very deep within each of us, and a principle of God's law that we should all think deeply about. God's law is essentially a piece of binary code. We are either giving or getting. God's law teaches us to give. There's an opposite law at work in the universe that operates on the motive of get. That's not the way we want to be. We want to have an attitude that gives.
And probably that is best illustrated by a comment the apostle Paul makes in Acts 20:35 when he is talking to a group of ministers. And he is talking about his own way of life. And he tells them in Acts 20:35, when he talks about his own example before them, he said, "I have shown you in every way by laboring like this that you must support the weak." "Remember the words of the Lord Jesus," he said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." It's more blessed to give than to receive. Paul's quoting Christ.
That is a fundamental principle, I think, that is underlying this Eighth Commandment, "Thou shalt not steal." And for you and I, at whatever point, we might be tested on that. That principle of giving, as opposed to getting, should be what guides us in the decision that we make to obey God on this particular point of His law, and certainly on every other.
That's BT Daily. Join us next time.