Humorist Boyce House told the story of a Texas lawyer who asked his rough-looking client if he knew what an alibi was. "Yes," said the client. "That's when I can prove I was somewhere else when I stole the horse."
My friends don't have any alibis for stealing, but many have reasons why we should respect the property of others. Brittany, age 9, says, "God wants us to be happy with what we have." Nathan, 11, adds: "Stealing is wrong because it is actually coveting. So you are breaking two commandments."
Good thinking. If you're content with what God has given, how can you become a thief? Keep your heart free from wanting other people's possessions by resting in God's provision, and you won't be tempted to steal.
Stealing is "mean," says Heather, 10. "It's just like stealing God's things. It makes God sad when we steal, and the people we steal from."
Most thieves would never associate stealing from people with stealing from God. If we're created in God's image, the way we treat each other is a reflection of our relationship with God. If we have a relationship with God, we will respect his image in people, and that includes fruit of their labor.
"If you think nobody saw you, think again because God sees everything you do," says Casey, 10.
Furthermore, Beth, 10, adds, "When people steal, their conscience bothers them."
Do you have a problem sleeping at night? Try returning the extra $15 you received when you paid with a $5 and the store clerk thought you gave him a $20.
"But I didn't steal it."
Listen to the Apostle James: "Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin" (James 4:17). Oops. If you've failed to act after sensing God's promptings in your heart, you know that sinking feeling of robbing someone of a blessing.
Kacey, 11, looks to the golden rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Some have perverted this into "Do unto others before they do it unto you."