I’m No Thief

I’m No Thief

You shall not steal. Exodus 20:15

This is one of those blogs that I’d rather not write. It can be terribly shameful to admit the sins of my past. But, here goes . . . As I was pontificating on the eight commandment last night – You shall not steal – I struggled to come up with any lesson. When I read a passage, I first ask myself what the passage says, and I then ask what the lesson is for me. But theft just isn’t my struggle. I’ve got a lot of flaws God, but I’m no thief. Then, a dreadful realization came over me as I remembered my behavior in my addiction. In my addiction – and this is the part that hurts – I stole opioids from both my parents and my in-laws. If I knew you had a bottle of opioids in your house, I’d have tried to get my hands on them too. I know. That’s horrific. It isn’t me. I’m no thief.

That, however, is exactly what addiction does. It’s not an excuse for my behavior, but rather a terrible warning. As I gradually surrendered more and more of my life to the drug, the drug made my decisions for me. That part of my brain that said, Maybe you shouldn’t steal things, wasn’t in control anymore. Rather, that part of my brain that said, I need more drugs, was making all my decisions. Looking back, it’s shameful, but that’s what I became.

Most of us, I’d guess, probably don’t struggle with theft. So, we tell ourselves we’re doing OK. I keep seven out of ten commandments. I’m doing pretty well. Many of us though, also have that one area of our lives that we protect at all costs. We don’t lie, until it comes to our pornography problem. We don’t hide things from our spouse until it comes to our alcohol or shopping addiction. We don’t steal unless it means cheating on our taxes. It’s easy to look at all the stuff we don’t struggle with and tell ourselves we’re good people. I don’t rob banks or kill others. Well, most people don’t do that. What is your struggle though? What’s the one thing you try to stop but can’t? That’s the thing God wants because it’s the one thing that turns you into something you don’t want to be. If we desire to become who God created us to be, and if we desire to experience his life, joy, and peace, then daily, we must do whatever it takes to be obedient to God, cutting that thing out of our lives. This will hurt, but it’s better than becoming that thing that we hate.

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