“not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.”
Pilfering! That’s not a word you use regularly, is it? I can’t recall using it much. The Greek word translated that way is only used three times – here and in Acts 5:2-3. And that’s an interesting story. It’s the story where Ananias and Sapphira decided to keep back part of the money from a land sale and lied to the church. They pilfered the money. In fact, the Greek word is in the middle voice which means they made their own decision to do that. No one made them. They chose to lie and steal.
We do the same thing when we choose to pilfer from God. We do it to feed our own fleshly desires. How soon we forget that all we have is His and all He has is ours. There is no need to pilfer, even for the smallest things. So, why do we pilfer? Why do continue to look out for ourselves first?
I have seen children pilfer. Sometimes they do it out of survival. Sometimes it’s because of greed. But every time it is done, it is sin. Our role as parents includes teaching our children that our source is God, not whatever is in front of them at time. When your son or daughter understands that fully, the temptation to pilfer will cease. They begin to see the big picture.
One of the best ways to combat this is to teach them to share. I had the pleasure to serve a Children’s Home in Tennessee which was the recipient of tons of Christmas gifts each year for the kids. One year a local business blessed us with over 17,000 items for Christmas (you read that correctly). We had our children go through our Santa’s Workshop store and shop for their families. These kids (who didn’t have much of their own) didn’t pilfer for themselves. They got to share. What a lesson.
Are you a pilferer? Or are you a sharer? Those are two totally different mindsets. I pray your desire to bless others is stronger than your desire to bless yourself. Self-gratification seldom lasts long, but the satisfaction we get from seeing someone else blessed lasts. Be a blessing today.
I am so grateful for the ways in which You bless me daily. Keep my eyes on blessing others and keep my eyes off myself. I shall serve You with all my heart.