"You shall not steal."
— Exodus 20:15
There is so much stealing in our culture today that we have almost become accustomed to it. In fact, I read about a study that was done on stealing in which people were asked why they didn't steal. The number one reason given by those polled was the fear of getting caught. The next most common reason was concern that the other person might try to get even. The third most-cited reason was that the item might not be needed. What apparently didn't occur to anyone was the fact that stealing is a sin.
Here is what God says about stealing: "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).
In the above verse we find three simple principles about how to live our lives as Christians.
First, if you have stolen, steal no longer. Don't take something that doesn't belong to you. Don't illegally download stuff. Don't take things that are not yours. If you have taken something, give it back or make restitution.
Second, be useful. Get out and work. Get a job. The apostle Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 3:10, "For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat." The government doesn't owe you anything. Don't leech off people. Go out and be responsible and look for a job.
Third, be useful. Find work wherever you can find it. Do something. Make an effort. Sometimes people who are out of work will say, "I am praying the Lord will provide." That's good to pray. But have they submitted your resume anywhere? Have they applied for any jobs? Keep praying. But start looking too.