TCs Apply (6): Giving back.
‘You shall not steal.’ Exodus 20:15 NIV
Now, this is just getting silly, isn’t it? Surely most of us know not to steal? Wellll…this is another one of those commandments that takes a little bit more study to fully grasp. We live in a ‘what can I get out of it’ culture. It's the sort of environment where we can bend the rules and twist dishonesty and theft to get what we want. (‘Of course I never *steal*. But don’t open my iTunes library…’)
Think about it, how often do we plain and simple credit-snipe from other people? Or what about when the shyer person softly says a brilliantly-crafted joke/response? Then, the person next to them steals it, shouts it out loud enough for everyone to hear, and gleefully takes the credit. Sniped.
And when you think about it....isn’t withholding something that’s not yours the same as taking something that’s not yours? It’s all about denying the owner whatever is rightfully theirs. It gets a whole lot more serious when we think about this in the context of our relationship with God. If withholding things is a form of robbery, how often do we rob God? Are we sometimes guilty of denying Him our time, efforts or talents? Think about it this way, if ‘every good and perfect gift is from above…’ (James 1:17 NIV), then God is the rightful owner of all we have and all we are. So it’s probably a good idea for us to give those gifts back in some way…
Clear out. Think through things you’re holding on to that you shouldn’t be (yup, digital too). What should you do about it? Make a decision, today, and carry it out.