Have you ever said the phrases, “Well they owe me,” “They won’t even notice,” “Someone else already paid for it,” “I found it online,” “Its not hurting anyone if I take this,” “No one will even miss this?”
Today we have so many things at our finger tips that others own and yet we find some excuse as to why we have reason not to pay for it. Why? Just because we want it. When we find ways to get whatever it is without paying, we also justify why we can have what doesn’t rightfully belong to us. The reality? We’re stealing and clearly violating one of God’s commands.
- Do you or have you in the past struggled with taking things that aren’t yours? Why or why not?
- Do you ever watch movies or tv shows on youtube that you haven’t paid for by buying a ticket, renting the movie, or subscribing to cable/hulu/netflix? Do you think this is stealing? Why or why not? Does this hurt/impact anyone?
- Your friend pays for Netflix and gives you their password. You use their account for watching movies and shows at home, on your phone, or anywhere you go. Is this stealing?
- Do you ever copy someone’s else’s homework answers? Do you think this is stealing? Why or why not? Does this hurt/impact anyone?
- Let’s say you go to a vending machine and pay for a bag of skittles. The machine gives you two bags instead of one. If you take both bags, do you think you’re stealing? Why or why not? Does this hurt/impact anyone?
- You’re walking in a park right before it closes and no one else is around. You find $100 on the ground. Is it wrong to take it? Why or why not?
- For all of the above questions, do you think your behavior would change if Jesus was with you (in the flesh)? Why or why not? If you answered no (its not stealing) before and yes (it is stealing) now, what changed?
You don’t have to take something from the shelf at the mall to be a thief. The world sees more subtle forms of stealing as ‘normal,’ ‘okay,’ or even something you’re entitled to since you’re smart enough to trick the system. Start looking at what you do, watch, “borrow,” or “copy.” Is it yours? If not, leave it be. Remember, that bag of skittles, episode of your favorite show, “free version of a new release,” or access to your friend’s Netflix is not worth what it costs you- your integrity.