How is that not stealing?

In the 1999 movie “Office Space”, a scheme is devised to take “fractions of a penny” from a company and put these fractions into a bank account that did not belong to the company. The plan was to do this millions of times and therefore generate a whole lot of money for the schemers.

In one scene the main character, Peter (Ron Livingston) tries to convince Joanna (Jennifer Aniston), that since they are taking only fractions of a penny, it really isn’t stealing, and besides the company where the money is coming from is evil. Through the course of the conversation, Joanna repeats some of his words: “You’re going to make a lot of money right… that’s not yours?”… “So you’re stealing…” … “How is that not stealing?” Peter continues to rationalize and suggest she doesn’t understand, but it is no use.

Taking something that isn’t yours = stealing.


An employee of a company submitted an expense report for business travel. The company reimbursed the employee for the travel. There was a change in the travel itinerary resulting in a partial refund. The refund was $422.20 and appeared on the employee’s personal credit card.

No one will find out… just spend it and forget about it… you work hard, they owe you… you probably forgot to expense some things in the past so this makes up for it… God probably wants you to have it as a gift… Not like the company needs it, they have a lot of money… you deserve it…

The Enemy

Taking something that isn’t yours = stealing.

There is an enemy who has been trying to deceive since the beginning of creation. His plan hasn’t changed. Twisting the truth, attacking our vulnerabilities and seeking to destroy us.

Yes, this was a true story, I was the employee and yes I returned the money.

Black and White

In Joshua 6, God continues his eternal undefeated streak, once again showing his power and demonstrating his faithfulness as the walls of Jericho fall and the Israelites take the city.

But all silver and gold, and every vessel of bronze and iron, are holy to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord.

Joshua 6:19

The Israelites had clear instruction as to what to do and not to do with the city’s assets.

Today’s reading is Joshua 7, and we learn that Achan defied the instruction by secretly taking beautiful clothing, silver, and gold; then hiding it. This sin brought harm on the people of Israel (defeat at Ai) along with the eventual stoning of Achan as a penalty for his crime.

I can imagine Achan heard some of the lies listed above… no one will know… you deserve it…


God is serious about his commands and serious about sin. He loves us, he knows our hearts, and he knows our sins.

We have no secrets. Just as Achan had to pay for his sin, you and I are also sinners and have racked up debt against God. Thankfully if we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, we have the Holy Spirit’s guidance (speaking into our hearts, guiding us when we are tempted), and then we have redemption through Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection as payment for our sin.

As we go about our day, let us take in the words of Jesus as he instructs us on prayer; including the topics of forgiveness and temptation. Read it slowly, focusing on each phrase.

Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.

Matthew 6:9-13

May God bless and keep you today!