“To steal” is the Hebrew word “ganab” and the Greek word “klepto” and means “to take or make use of without right or authority, usually with the intent to keep”. From the Greek word “klepto”, we get the English word “kleptomania”, meaning “to have a persistent impulse to steal”.


Eph. 4:28        What is the person/Christian who steals told not to do any longer?


What should he/she do instead, and why?


Have you ever stolen anything?

If so, what is your attitude now about stealing, and why?


Ex. 22:1, 4      If a person stole an ox or a sheep and killed or sold it, what was the price of restitution for this offense/sin (if he was caught)?


If what a person stole was found alive, what was the thief to pay back?


Do you think that burglars/thieves today should repay (when caught) people double, 4 or 5 times the amount of what they stole from someone?



Lev. 6:1-5       If you find a lost item or money that belongs to someone else, but don’t know who it belongs to, you can keep it. But if you know who it belongs to either then or later, you should return it. If you lie about the lost item/money you found by saying either that it’s really yours or that you didn’t find it, then you are stealing and sinning. What was this lying thief who found the lost item/money to do when caught?


Do you think that our laws should be like this today, and why?

Have you ever found something and you knew whom it belonged to, but you kept it anyway, and why?


Lev. 19:13       In what way does God view the over-night withholding of wages by an employer of a day-laborer?


[If you tell someone that you are going to pay them for services done for you by a certain time, but don’t do so when you’re capable of doing so, then God considers it robbery.].

Do you?



Hosea 4:1-2    Stealing is listed side by side with what other sins?


What does this indicate as to how serious God views stealing?


How serious do you view the sin of stealing, and why?


Jer. 23:30       Who is the Lord against?


[Because God had not spoken to these false prophets they were stealing from one an­other (plagiarizing) prophecies that were supposedly from God.].

Have you ever plagiarized another person’s words and tried to pass them off as your own original words?

If so, did you realize that you were actually stealing by plagiarizing?


Jn. 10:10       Who comes only to steal?


Based on this, would you have ever been considered a thief?



Rom. 2:21       What question does Paul ask the Jew, who taught/preached to others that they should not steal?


Have you ever told other people that it was wrong to steal, but then you were doing so (stealing) yourself?

Have you ever thought that it was wrong to rob a bank, but that it was alright to do any of the following:


  • taking/eating food from where you work, when you are not supposed to?
  • borrowing money, tools, books, videos, CDs, etc. from someone and then not returning or repaying what you borrowed?
  • copying copyrighted material unlawfully (e.g., music, videos, books, etc.)?
  • taking supplies/materials from where you work (e.g., pens, pencils, etc.)?
  • sampling food at the grocery store (e.g., fruit, candy, etc.) without paying for it?
  • taking longer breaks or quitting earlier at work than you should and being paid for this unworked time?
  • trying to use expired coupons at the store, hoping that the clerk won’t notice the expiration date?
  • seeing someone drop or leave something (e.g., money, wallet, purse, a material item) and then picking it up and keeping it rather than telling the person he/she dropped or left the item?
  • taking from the rich to give to the poor (the Robin Hood mentality)?


Why did you think it was wrong to rob a bank but not wrong to rob in any of the above ways?


Can you think of any other ways that people steal without thinking that they are actually stealing?

Now that you’ve been made aware of these often overlooked ways of stealing, will you rationalize/justify/excuse stealing in these ways any longer?



Rom. 13:8-10         Who won’t steal from his/her neighbor (fellow Christian)?


If you have ever stolen anything from someone else (i.e., food, tools, books, time, money, supplies, etc.), what does it really mean your attitude was toward that person?

If stealing is a problem for you, then you should really get to the root of the problem by seeing that a lack of love (hate) is really the main issue here. What can you do to love people so that you don’t steal from them (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 5:22-23; Eph. 5:18; 1 Jn. 5:14-15; Col. 3:14; Eph. 4:22-24)?


Will you do this?

When, and why?


1 Cor. 6:9-10         What won’t thieves inherit?


How can a thief inherit the kingdom of God – 1 Cor. 6:11; Jn. 3:3; Acts 13:38-39; 26:16-18; Col. 2:13-14?


Will you inherit the kingdom of God?



If you steal after becoming a Christian, what should you do to get back in fellowship (a harmonious or close relationship) with God – 1 Jn. 1:9?

[Sinning any sin once you’ve trusted in Christ as your Savior won’t keep you from not inheriting the kingdom of God.].


1 Pet. 4:15, 17       For what reason should a Christian not suffer (be punished)?


Have you ever suffered (been punished) in any way for stealing?

What will God do to a Christian (a member of the household of God) who is a thief (also see 2 Cor. 5:10)?


Will you be found guilty on judgment day for stealing as a Christian?

What can you do to make sure this doesn’t happen?


Josh. 7:10-11, 20-25          What was the consequence of Achan’s stealing?


Does this seem too severe a punishment for stealing, and why?


What does this incident teach you about how much God hates the sin of stealing?


Do you view the sin of stealing this seriously, and why?


Let us know what you think.