Exodus 20:15 (KJV): “Thou shalt not steal.”
COMMENTARY: For thousands of years, in the Old and New Testaments, God has wanted His people to be people of integrity. Stealing is contrary to God’s nature and character. It’s wrong. It’s evil. And it’s Satan who leads people to believe that if they steal, they’ll “get ahead.” In reality, stealing is sin. And sin always results in destructive consequences.
APPLICATION: We live in a day and age when bankruptcy liquidation filings for Christians (and Christian-owned businesses) are often no less than unbelievers. While bankruptcy was originally created to be a form of mercy in response to horrific debtors’ prisons, over the years, it has eroded into a blatant legal maneuver to escape from one’s financial obligations. Technically, it is legal. Spiritually, it is often immoral.
The arrogance of bankruptcy is that it turns the borrower-lender relationship upside-down: instead of the borrower being servant to the lender, the lender becomes servant to the borrower. It’s strange how the lender, who was a “good person” when the loan was made, becomes a “monster” when he or she tries to enforce the terms of the loan.
Over the years, I’ve met many Christian businesspeople who found themselves in deep financial trouble and considered filing for bankruptcy. Some actually had bankruptcy filing papers ready to sign. However, the Holy Spirit would not let them follow through. Instead, they trusted God and eventually repaid their debts. If you’re on the verge of filing for personal or business bankruptcy today, ask yourself this question: what would Jesus do?
For Further Exploration
For further exploration about Exodus 20:15 (KJV) , read The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17) from the Theology of Work Bible Commentary.