In this sermon on the eighth commandment we look at the heart issues underlying the sin of stealing. Particularly, we consider the sin of greed. This sparked some discussion on the nature of greed and how it compares to godly industry. This lead to some further development of the theme, particularly comparing and contrasting the two.
1)Greed is described as a sin, and is frequently condemned in strongest language in Scripture. Godly industry is considered righteous and is praised repeatedly in Scripture.
2)Greed is a selfish desire for enriching only myself. Godly industry is interested in glorifying God, in helping my neighbor, and furthering my own outward estate (in that order).
3)Greed is chronically lazy and refuses to do hard work. Godly industry is never lazy, and welcomes hard work as a way of building up wealth over time.
4)Greed leads to stealing, which is illegal. Godly industry is entirely legal, and refuses to take something that doesn’t rightfully belong to the person.
5)Greed is impatient and must have great wealth immediately. Godly industry is willing to work over years or decades to slowly build up capital.
6)Greed seeks to hoard and hold what it gets. Godly industry is eager to share with those in need. Greed is stingy and miserly, but godly industry is generous and open-handed.
7)Greed tends to be destructive – taking away things from others. Godly industry is productive – using resources to produce something new and useful for others to purchase and benefit from.
8)Greed arises from a love of self, godly industry arises from a love of God and a love of neighbor.
9)Greed is idolatry, but the godly industrious man worships the one true God.
10)God hates greed, but God loves godly industry
11) The greedy man works seven days a week, ignoring the Sabbath day. The man of godly industry works six days and rests on the seventh, honoring the Sabbath day.
Ephesians 4:28 “He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.”