Am I a Thief?

Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me.
But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’
In your tithes and contributions.

–Malachi 3:8 (ESV)

I watch crime shows. I think there are two types. Some shows support the police. These shows are all about catching the criminal. Other shows glorify the criminal. It seems like these shows try to make the bad guy a good guy.

I struggle when criminals get away with stealing from others. The criminals justify their actions in so many different ways. Still, the bottom line is that in most of these stories they are law-breakers. They should be caught.

Malachi was the last of the Old Testament prophets. He speaks for God in the above verse. The verse really steps on a lot of toes. He says that anyone that does not support God through tithes and contributions is basically robbing God.

Ouch. Does that make me a thief if I don’t give to God?

Well, on face value, that is exactly what Malachi is saying. But of course, this is in the Old Testament so it no longer applies to me. Right?

Not so fast, David. Yes, the Old Testament is fulfilled through Jesus. That is a blessing. Therefore, much of the Old Testament law no longer applies to me.

Yet when I read and study the New Testament I believe that because Jesus has set me free from the law, I am now free to give even more! And as I realize that God owns it all, then I realize that I am a steward of what I have. It is no longer mine. What I think is mine, is not really mine. It is God’s.

When I apply this truth, I am free. I give to God what is already His. I am God’s steward of everything else. I am not a thief and have nothing to hide.  (Of course I can’t hide my giving, or my lack of giving, from God anyway!)

Prayer: Almighty God. You own it all. Everything I have is Yours. I embrace Your blessings by giving to You and to others. May I always give cheerfully and generously.

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