Stealing




Do you know what stealing is? Stealing is taking something that does not belong to you.

A family of five lived in a cute yellow house. Brianna was the middle child. Her older brother was Thomas and her younger brother was Kurt. Besides her brothers, she also lived with her mom and grandma. The nice house had four bedrooms. The boys shared a room, and they had cool bunk beds. Thomas slept on the top and Kurt on the bottom.  Brianna, being the only girl, had her own room. She thought this was good because she had a secret hiding place in the back of her closet. In the deep, dark part of her closet she had a very large stuffed bear. The bear had a hole in the back of it. Brianna had made the hole bigger and had taken out most of the stuffing. In this cavity, she could hide things. No one knew of her hiding place.


Brianna’s mom worked long hours and Grandma kept up with the house and the three children. When the kids got home from school, there would be a snack waiting for them.


Sometimes after their snack they would go out to play, but most days they would get right to their homework. Grandma was always ready to help them with their homework. Brianna easily did her homework, but Kurt seemed to need Grandma’s help often. Brianna didn’t like the attention Kurt got from Grandma. Sometimes she would interrupt them by asking for a drink or for a silly thing like if she could sharpen her pencil.


Brianna loved it when her grandma would make supper. She loved to help stir the stew or set the table. Brianna just loved being near  her grandma. That’s when her secret began. One day, Grandma’s button came off the apron she wore when she cooked or baked. Grandma set the button on the counter, saying she would sew it on later. Brianna slipped it into her own pocket and later took it to her secret hiding place. She just wanted something of Grandma's to have near her, or so she told herself.


Brianna had a secret. She took things that didn’t belong to her. Just little things: a pencil here, a penny there, a button, nickel, bookmark, among other things. Once, she took Kurt’s favorite miniature school bus that he kept in his pocket. Brianna told herself it didn’t matter because they were just small things and they never really left the house. She had them all safe inside the bear in the back of her closet.


Brianna was getting bolder in taking things. One evening, her mom came home from work and went to her room to change her clothes. Her mom had taken off her necklace and placed it on her dresser. When her mom went downstairs, Brianna slipped in and helped herself to the necklace. After putting it in her hiding place, she went down for supper.


Her mom later went up to her room and found it missing. She looked everywhere. She even pulled the dresser out to see if it had fallen behind. When the house was quiet and the children were tucked into bed, the adults had a nice cup of tea and a chat. Mom told Grandma about the missing necklace, and Grandma told her she had noticed things were missing also. They remembered Kurt had lost his toy school bus, and now they were thinking maybe it wasn’t lost after all. They were both concerned they had a thief living among them. Who could it be?


The next day Thomas went to get his favorite baseball. He couldn’t find it anywhere and asked Grandma if she knew where it was. They both looked all over his room and the house, but they could not find it.


That night, when they were all sitting down for supper, Grandma told Mom about Thomas’ missing ball. Mom said, “Looks like things are disappearing around here. Things do not walk away by themselves. Someone in this house is taking things. I want all three of you to finish your supper then go to your rooms and think about this. If you know anything about it or if you have taken them, please come and see me.”


The three children went to sit on their beds. The boys lay there thinking to themselves, wondering who it could be. Brianna sat there wondering what to do. Brianna went to her hiding place and looked at all the things she had taken. The bear was getting very full. Sadly she went back to her bed and sat down to think. She didn’t want to give the stuff back nor did she want to get into trouble. She wondered what she should do.


Mom and Grandma had a suspicion of who the culprit was. They just wanted her to come clean and tell them. They knew confession was good for the soul.  


Brianna didn’t sleep well that night, worrying about what she should do. Should she tell Mom or just be quiet about it? These thoughts kept her awake most of the night.


The next morning she felt sick to her stomach. Grandma had her stay home and in bed. Brianna was not allowed to watch T.V. and had to stay in her room. Grandma brought her homemade soup, but she was only able to eat a few small mouthfuls. Her stomach felt awful and her head hurt. She was worried everyone would find out it was her who had taken their belongings.


That evening Mom came in to check on her. Brianna was feeling worse. Mom said, “Well Brianna, it's good news. Nothing was taken today. Do you have any idea who could be responsible for all the missing stuff? It is strange you are the only one who isn’t missing anything. Do you know why that might be?” Briana shook her head.


That night she was miserable! She was tossing and turning and just could not quiet her mind enough to sleep. She finally started to cry and went to wake her mom.


Mom turned on the light and sat up saying, “Brianna what is it? Do you need something?”


Brianna said, “It’s me! I did it!”


Mom said, “Did what?”


Brianna sobbed, “I took all the stuff. It's in my bear!”


Mom said, “Oh, I see. Brianna what is it called when you take something that doesn’t belong to you?”


Quietly Brianna said, “Stealing.”


Mom asked, “Is it wrong to steal?”


Brianna said, “Yes.”


Mom asked her, “How do you know it is wrong?”


Brianna replied, “Jesus said not to.”


Mom said, “That is right; the Bible says not to steal.” Do you know why you feel so sick today?” Brianna shook her head. “It is your conscience. You know it was wrong to steal and you knew you were about to get caught. That is why you felt sick. Your conscience wanted you to tell me what you did. I bet you haven’t slept well either.” Brianna again shook her head. “Brianna, what do you need to do now?”


Brianna answered, “I need to give all the stuff back.”


“Yes, and what else?”  said Mom.


Brianna looked up and said, “I’m sorry.”


Drawing Brianna in a big hug she said, “Thank you and I forgive you. Honey, who else do you need to apologize to?”


Brianna answered, “Kurt, Thomas, and Grandma.”


Mom asked, “Who else?”


Brianna replied, “Jesus.”


“Yes, Jesus. Let’s pray together.” said Mom.


While praying, Brianna told Jesus she was sorry and she would not steal again. Afterward, she ran to her room and pulled her bear out of the closet. Mom helped her empty it of its contents, and they took the stuff to the kitchen table. Then Mom took the bear, saying she would sew up the hole tomorrow.


The next morning was Saturday, so everyone had breakfast together. Grandma and Mom made pancakes and scrambled eggs. Brianna got hugs from everyone when she told them she was sorry, and she hugged them back when they told her they forgave her.


Brianna learned her lesson that night and she never took anything that didn’t belong to her again. Brianna later asked Jesus to be her Savior and the Holy Spirit came to dwell in her. She now has the Holy Spirit to tell her when she has done something wrong. She now has two internal guides: The Holy Spirit and her conscience. She listens to them carefully so she will never get into the trouble she had that time. You have a conscience. You were born with it. When you ask Jesus to be your Savior, He will give you the Holy Spirit to be with you always. We need to develop listening ears to hear His silent voice or urging.


Have you ever stolen anything? Stealing is sin. If you have stolen anything, you need to tell that person you are sorry and also tell Jesus. Brianna’s mom said the Bible tells us not to steal. Let’s look at those verses. Exodus 20:15 You shall not steal.  Ephesians 4:28a Let him who stole steal no longer. Don't forget, if you have any questions for me just put them in the comment box, and I will answer.


Memorize one or both of these verses: Exodus 20:15 You shall not steal.  Ephesians 4:28a Let him who stole steal no longer.


For you older children turn in your Bible to Joshua 7:10-11 and 20-25. Take a look at someone who stole something and the consequences of that sin.

Verses in NKJ unless otherwise stated. 

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