We should have a biblical work ethic
"Thou shalt not steal." (Exodus 20:15)
God’s Word tells us that anytime we take anything belonging to someone else or withhold that which rightly belongs to another, we have transgressed this commandment.
Whether it’s time, money, affection, possessions, appreciation, love, or anything else, if we defraud somebody else in the matter, we are guilty of stealing.
When God gave his law to the children of Israel, He told parents to teach these things to their children and grandchildren.
How can we teach our children what the Eighth Commandment means?
By teaching them what it means to live with honesty and integrity.
To do that, I want to lay another verse alongside Exodus 20:15.
It is Ephesians 4:28, which in my estimation is the perfect explanation and amplification of this commandment:
"Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth."
This is a dynamite verse, packed with three grand principles that need to be emblazoned on the heart of every child and etched into our children’s consciousness, so they will discover God’s secret for successful homes.
The first principle is integrity: "let him that stole steal no more."
The second is industry: "Let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good."
And the third is generosity: "That he may have to give to him that needeth."
All of these principles are wrapped up in the commandment that says, "Thou shalt not steal."
A Lost Generation
The problem with this generation is that by and large our young people do not know either the importance or the value of honest labor.
We have young men and women graduating from college today who still don’t know how to make a living.
People want to win the lottery or the sweepstakes so they won’t have to work anymore.
But that would be a pathetic way to live.
Let me say a word here that may sound political.
I hope not, because I believe it’s moral and biblical.
You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the industrious out of it.
You don’t multiply wealth by dividing it.
Government cannot give anything to anybody that it doesn’t first take from somebody else.
Whenever somebody receives something without working for it, somebody else has to work for it without receiving.
The worst thing that can happen to a nation is for half of the people to get the idea they don’t have to work because somebody else will work for them, and the other half to get the idea that it does no good to work because they don’t get to enjoy the fruit of their labor.
America is still suffering today from the lack of a biblical work ethic.
And even many of those who are working are not working for the pleasure and the joy of cooperating with Almighty God.
They’re only working to get enough money so they can stop working.
Too many people are looking forward to retirement so they can finally sit back and do nothing.
May God have mercy upon the pitiful soul who believes that line.
You should never retire from serving God.
If you are well enough off so that you don’t have to go work tomorrow, that just gives you more time to serve God with all your heart and all your soul.
Taken from Ten Secrets for a Successful Family by Dr. Adrian Rogers, pages 131-138 from the chapter "Honesty: Don’t Leave Home Without It," copyright ©1996. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.
"Dear God, help me to teach these things to my children, and help me to practice them."
"Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people." (Colossians 3:23-24, NLT)