Ephesians 4:28 — He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need (NIV).
Stealing means to take something that doesn’t belong to you. It’s in our human nature to want things we are not supposed to have. I knew a guy who would show absolutely no interest in a certain girl, but as soon as she started dating someone else, he would begin to pursue her.
Theft is more common among Christians than one might think. While most believers don’t rob convenience stores or swipe money out of the offering plate, they do struggle in less noticeable areas. Many believers misuse God’s time and resources, which is a form of theft. Withholding your tithe is equivalent to robbing God (Malachi 3:8). Others don’t make the most of the talents and gifts they’ve been blessed with. If you struggle in one of these areas, Paul gives a simple solution. Steal no longer!
I love the next part of this verse. We must work instead of stealing, and we must do something useful with our own hands. It’s so important to pay careful attention to the way the Bible words certain phrases. We need to work and produce something with our own hands. We cannot afford to rely on other people to do the work.
It’s also important not to allow yourself to come to a place where you feel certain tasks are beneath you. If you do, it won’t take long for you to become idle and fruitless.
Make it a point in your life to be productive. If you purpose to be useful, then you will have something to share with those who are in need. Somebody is relying on your level of productivity. I want to challenge you today to work hard because idle people have nothing to offer.
Philemon 11 — Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me (NIV).
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