Thief to Philanthropist…

Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.
Ephesians 4:28 [ESV]

This was a shorter quiet time but still important and the Lord had some alignment to show me in regard to verse 25 and that quiet time.

This verse feels like it is ‘no duh’ as it is one of the 10 commandments. But we need to remember the context in which Paul is writing -> support for the unity of the church in biblical community. No life of falsehoods. don’t let your anger linger, and now ‘don’t steal’, yet work for wages and have open hands with what you earn.

I was reading this and thinking about why Paul was talking about thievery to the church in Ephesus. The only real thing I could come up with is that it is possible that the Christians in Ephesus were stealing from the Romans. The Jewish people in the days of Jesus Christ had issues with the Roman government, and they thought that the evil Roman empire was unjustly stealing from them by overtaxing, and so some of the Jews tried to get away with not paying taxes – others—like the Jewish Zealots—sometimes tried to steal back from the Romans. This might be the kind of activity Paul was referring to.

Paul just got done talking about not giving satan a foothold, where right here satan is not to be blamed because the hearts of the Ephesians had been hardened to not see that even stealing from evil Roman empire is….still stealing and is sin that is not aligned to a pure and holy God. Paul did not want anything to come in between the Ephesians having both an amazing fruitful relationship with God and in turn, with each other. Conversely, Paul was saying, make an honest living and then be generous with what you earn. There were many in the church that poor and this was almost killing two birds with one stone – Stop sinning and support the biblical community.


Lord God in Heaven, please convict my spirit if there is anything I am doing in my daily life that could be considered “Robinhood Stealing” (taking something I believe I have earned, deserve, or believe I am taking back because it was first taken from me…like taxes). Help me to see the places that I can be open handed with what you have given me through wages, that I would live a life and model generosity for my children.

Today’s Psalm:

Turn away from evil and do good;
so shall you dwell forever.
For the LORD loves justice;
he will not forsake his saints.
They are preserved forever,
but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
The righteous shall inherit the land
and dwell upon it forever.

Psalms 37:27-29 [ESV]

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