1998-11-02 - Do Not Weary Yourself To Gain Wealth
Exodus 20:15 You shall not steal. (Ephesians 4:28; 1 Corinthians 6:9,10; Matthew 6:19,20)
Two lesser covered news stories caught my eye this week. One was out of India, where three burglars over-powered a security guard at a well-to-do home and sacked the home looking for cash. Finding none they made off with an 11 pound sack of onions. The other regards a bandit in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Police think that, in this month alone, he has committed 19 robberies. In fact his demand note was getting so ratty that he had it laminated to protect it. He also asks for the note back.
The eighth commandment is exceedingly broad, and while negative in its wording, there is also a positive duty that comes with it. Hard work is something our nation was built upon. But the duty to work hard comes from the positive application of the command not to steal. Industry and frugality are two positive applications that come from the negative command not to steal.
Industry is the use of our gifts and talents towards a positive contribution both for us and for our fellow man. Industry gives an enlargement of the world's good things, for the worker is worthy of his wages, (Matt. 10:10).
Frugality is also in mind in this command. Saving something for a rainy day is not simply a good idea, it is, when possible, a duty. This is to insure, as much as possible, that, one day, we will not be lying down on a borrowed bed, or eating a meal we are in debt for.
These might be called "minor moralities", but if these are considered minor, and are despised, there exists the chance that others will end up having to pay for our keep. In truth we ought to be those who seek for and find a way to give to others. Giving to others is something that is more in the mind than in the hand. Giving is open to all. If one is willing to give it is according to what he has and not according to what he does not have.
"Of great riches, there is no real use, except it be in the distribution. There is a custody of them; but beyond distribution there is no solid use of them to their owner. Seek not therefore proud riches, but such as thou mayest get justly, use soberly, distribute cheerfully, and leave contentedly." Lord Bacon
Soli Deo Gloria,