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What A Thief Does

October 11th, 2010

“The thief’s purpose is to steal . . and destroy.” John 10:10 NLT

“A thief is going to do what a thief does – steal!”

My thoughts today are about “what a thief does.”

Would you ever knowingly give the key to your car or house to a thief, or the combination to your safe, or add them as a signer on your bank accounts? Your answer would emphatically be, “Of course not!” You know that a thief is going to do what a thief does – steal! They may promise that they won’t, but they will. You may think you will be an exception for them, but you won’t.

When you think of theft, you would ordinarily think of tangible things being stolen – credit cards, jewelry, cars, cash. But a person can steal other things less tangible yet every bit as valuable. Identity theft is a major concern in our high-tech world. But what about a gossip who steals your good name and reputation? Or a self-proclaimed friend who violates your trust, not preserving confidences once shared privately? I have learned that a person who will share someone’s confidential matters with you will likely share yours with others. Those are less tangible assets, but no less valuable.

Be advised, not surprised; not everyone who seems friendly is a friend. Jesus described such a person this way, “a stranger . . who climbs in by some other way is a thief.” John 10:1-5 NIV. Jesus describes a person who gains access dishonorably – not respecting boundaries, not protecting trust and friendship – taking a place they do not deserve and with which they should not be trusted. Be wise about the place in your life you entrust to others.

Not every one may begin with the motive of a thief, but if they use even the methods of a thief, you will still lose something valuable in the process. There are “takers and givers;” learn to recognize that difference. Such a person will take advantage at your expense, leaving you without things you value. The Bible calls them “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” Read Matthew 7:15-18 NLT.

Real friends do not take things from you that you wish to keep; a true friendship makes you better than you were, not less. A friend is generous with what is theirs while protecting what is yours, respecting your convictions and never trying to dissuade your reluctance. A friend does not violate your trust nor breach your sense of personal security. With a friend, you feel safe to be yourself.

Is that the kind of friends that you wish to have? Then you must purpose to be exactly that kind of friend to others! The Bible says simply, “A man who has friends must himself be friendly . . you reap what you sow . .  whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” Proverbs 18:24 NKJV/Galatians 6:7-9 NIV/2 Corinthians 9:6 NIV.

Consider for a moment something more eternally important than a loss of things. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that you might have life, and have it to the full.John 10:10 NIV. Jesus said that His purpose is not at all like that of the thief, to make your life less. Jesus comes to make life much more than it could ever be otherwise! Jesus models godly friendship.

A simple hymn I sang as a child says, “Friendship with Jesus, fellowship divine. Oh, what blessed sweet communion; Jesus is a friend of mine.” Jesus can be trusted with your life, and your eternal soul. Why would you trust even the smallest portion of your life or affection to the evil one who wants to “steal, kill, and destroy” your immortal soul?

My prayer for you today is that you practice spiritual discernment in every area your life.

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