Please Don’t Take

Josh WannerDevotions

But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look…if I have extorted anything from anyone, I’ll pay back four times as much.” Luke 19:8

It’s been way too long. I’ve been missing going to Travellers House for a good cup of coffee and sitting down to get some writing done. I like going to coffee shops. Some times I’ll go to Panera or McDonald’s and get a soda or coffee there.

Inevitably, my cup will run dry and I’d want to get a refill. I hit Win Key + L to lock my computer. I either go to the counter or to the soda fountain. And I’m practically walking backwards. I’m keeping an eye on my stuff. I don’t want my computer to go missing.

Of course, when I have business that takes me the necessary room, I pack up everything. I can’t see my computer then.

If you have done this, you know how much it’s a hassle. When first walking into the coffee shop, what do you do? Scout around the room. You’re looking for two things. First, it is a comfortable spot. Maybe a couch by a fireplace. Or it is a table by a big window, letting in a lot of natural light. The second thing, and for me it often dictates where I sit, is an outlet. A laptop battery can only last so long before a recharge is needed.

That’s why it stinks, having to pack everything up. Because a note that reads, “Please don’t take,” won’t work

We have a small fortune invested in our laptops and mobile devices. It would be devastating for us if they were stolen. Not to mention all the personal stuff we keep stored on them. Pictures of the new baby. Electronic payment apps that have our credit card numbers on them. Our work projects that we have been working so diligently on. In a sense we feel vulnerable.

That’s why it’s a good thing God was looking out for us when He gave us the 7th Commandment. Do not steal.

On the flip side of this prohibition is something we can do. We can look after the wellbeing of other people. Perfect strangers, even.

Let’s play “What would you do?” If someone like me had stepped away from my nook at Travellers to go to get a refill. And my back was turned. And someone came and picked up my computer. You knew it wasn’t me. Would you say something to this guy? Clearly, he isn’t the owner. You just saw me leave for more coffee. The 7th Commandment tells us what we should do.

That we may not take our neighbor’s money or property, nor get them by false ware or dealing, BUT [emphasis mine] help him improve and protect his property and business (Luther’s Small Catechism).

Long or short. We protect his stuff!

Isn’t this what Jesus has done for us?

In our broken world, the devil has stolen from us. With false promises and lies, the devil stole our joys, our blessings, our very lives. In his wake, he left us feeling vulnerable. Yet Jesus rescued us. He went after the devil to get our stuff back. Jesus has given us all the good things that we had back to us. And he is still protecting us in all things. What’s even better is that Jesus is giving us so much more than what was taken from us to begin with.