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Don’t you love to watch toddlers play? They’re so cute. Their chubby faces smile as they pick up a toy and play. Usually, they keep it only a moment or two before swapping for another toy. They see you with a toy and they drop the one they hold to get it.
One of the first words toddlers learn is mine. They pick up a toy and say “mine.” Of course, they may take something from another child and declare “mine” as well. Usually with a pouty lip. Sometimes that toy is theirs. Sometimes it’s not. It is all part of learning the concept of ownership. If something is mine, I am right to have it. I may be rude to take it from another, but I have a right to it. But simply taking a toy doesn’t make it mine, no matter how hard I say the word. It takes a lot of repetition for toddlers to grasp how to be polite and what is truly theirs.
Some adults never learned the lesson well. Or they abandon it. They take things that are not theirs. Whether through shoplifting, theft, fraud or another crime, they take things they have no right to possess. This violates the commandment in Exodus 20:15, “You shall not steal.” (NIV)
Theft violates the ownership rights of another person. God recognizes and protects those rights through this commandment. Respect the ownership rights of others.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.