Exodus 20:15 – THE BIG TEN #9 – INTEGRITY CHECK
Exodus 20:15 – Thou shalt not steal.
Proverbs 22:1 – A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather
than silver and gold.
- How important is your own personal integrity and why?
- How is stealing often a subtle sin?
- How do people justify stealing in various forms?
- How can stealing at any level subtly hurt our personal integrity and Christian witness?
- What motivates people to steal?
About the last thing that you and I want to be called is a thief. Stealing takes so many forms, however, that it is good to check our integrity by considering places and ways we might be tempted to steal.
STEALING ON THE JOB
- What are some of the things that you have seen or heard of people taking home from work that actually belonged to the company?
- Perhaps some people would not consider this stealing (We do!). Why?
- On what occasions is it appropriate to use things from work for your personal gain?
- Embezzlement is certainly wrong. How does it hurt everyone involved in a company?
- Should a Christian report stealing or keep quiet?
- How is “goofing off” on the job stealing and how does it hurt everyone?
- How should you handle the situation in which you are “too industrious” and “making others look bad” who are goofing off?
STEALING ON TAXES
- “A tax preparer with an office in Jersey City admitted in Federal Court yesterday that he helped file 7,958 fraudulent tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service that resulted in about $17 million in illegal refunds from 1989 to 1994. Clarence Burnett, 51, of Orange, said the fraudulent refunds, averaging about $2,200 each, came from inflating clients’ claims for charitable contributions, medical expenses and other deductions. Mr. Burnett faces up to six years in prison and a $500,000 fine, said Carlos Ortiz, an assistant United States Attorney.” New York Times, 11/17/95
- Why is it so easy to “stretch the truth” when it comes to filling out tax forms?
- How do some people justify cheating on their taxes?
- Of course cheating on our taxes is not only stealing, but is lying as well!
STEALING AT SCHOOL
- “Back in 1940, only 20 percent of college students admitted to cheating during their academic careers. Today, that number has increased to 75 to 98 percent.” http://education-portal.com/articles/75_to_98_Percent_of_College_Students_Have_Cheated.html
- What motivates people to steal answers and plagiarize other people’s work?
- How do some parents help their children cheat?
STEALING AT HOME
- 1 John 4:7-8 – Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
- What are some of the things that parents rob from their children?
- What are some things that children have robbed from their parents?
- How have bad personal habits caused people to rob from family members?
- How do family members rob each other of love?
STEALING IN CHURCH
- Malachi 3:8 – Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
- 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 – But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
- What are some of the reasons Christians use for not giving to God’s work the way they should?
- How can we tell if we are robbing God?
- What are some other ways Christians rob God? Revelation 2:4 – Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 2 Timothy 2:15 – Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
- Ephesians 5:16 – Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
- In what ways do Christians rob other Christians? 1 John 3:17 – But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
- Hebrews 10:24-25 – And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
STEALING AT PERSONAL BUSINESS
- Psalms 37:21 – The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.
- Romans 13:8 – Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
- Why are we guilty of robbery when we do not pay our bills?
- Briefly, how can we avoid such robbery?
- How do you feel about advertisements for getting out of debt and paying “only a fraction of what you owe!”?
STEALING IN THE COMMUNITY
- Should I tell someone when they give me the wrong amount of change?
- What should I do if I find a wallet, money, or any personal property that is not mine?
- Why should we be careful not to shoplift?
- What are the benefits for the Christian who is honest and never steals?