Not Stealing; but Labouring
A Sermon on Ephesians 4:28
Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. (ESV)
The Gospel, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones reminds us, is wonderful because it is not for perfect people, but rather for sinners— for the adulterers, the liars, and the thieves. In Ephesians 4:28, Dr. Lloyd-Jones focuses on Paul’s exhortation for believers to labor instead of steal. Many of us think about stealing in terms of simply taking physical possessions. While this is accurate, there is much more that stealing encompasses, such as stealing time from an employer, stealing thoughts, or even stealing ideas. When we think of stealing as applicable to anything, and not just material possessions, we realize that it is something that we are forced to think about and look for in our own lives! What are some things to consider concerning stealing? First, there is something inherently shameful about it since it involves so much secrecy and deception. Second, it involves a misuse of a gift or ability that we have been given by God— such as using our hands to take what doesn’t belong to us, or by using our brain to strategize how we may carry out the theft. In addition, it’s lazy and shows a complete lack of respect for the other person. Instead of stealing, Christians are implored to work hard and for the glory of God, recognizing that God has created a dignity that comes along with labor.