NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the MasterWork curriculum.
Bible Passages: Exodus 20:15
Discussion Questions: How broadly did God intend for us to apply the Eighth Commandment, “You shall not steal”? Does it relate just to family and friends? What about the large, successful business in the suburbs? My employer? The state and national governments?
Food for Thought:
The unlawful taking of possessions belonging to another takes place routinely in our society. According to one report, larceny/theft makes up 56 percent of all crime committed in America. According to the 2001 National Retail Security Survey, U.S. retailers lost more than $13.2 billion from employee theft. Of the $29 billion in losses reported last year by retailers, employee theft made up a larger percentage (44.5%) than shoplifting (32.7%). Employee theft and shoplifting together account for the largest source of property crime committed annually in the United States. This massive loss of proper respect for other people’s property presents yet another example of the way in which the moral fabric of our society is unraveling.
In his novel “Oliver Twist,” Charles Dickens created a character known as the “Artful Dodger.” He was, among other things, a master pickpocket and expert at dodging the London Bobbies who were constantly on his trail. Judging from the statistics just quoted, it would seem legitimate to suggest that we are becoming a society of dodgers. Men and women are increasingly adept at building rationales for taking what is not theirs, dodging God’s Eighth Commandment with their twisted logic.
MasterWork is an ongoing Bible study curriculum based on works from a variety of renowned authors and offers pertinent, practical messages that adults will find uplifting and enriching. The list of authors and their books to be studied in upcoming months can be found at lifeway.com/masterwork.
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.