I have heard it said that theft is behind most (or all) sin. For example, murdering someone is like stealing their right to life or stealing someone else’s right to a husband or wife, a son or daughter, a sister or brother. Adultery is stealing someone’s right to a pure relationship with his/her spouse. Lying is stealing someone’s right to the truth. And so on…
Today, however, as I studied the book of James chapters 3-5, I was reminded that there is an even deeper “bottom line.” James tells us that behind quarrels, conflicts, and war is lust, envy, and discontent. He says that we don’t have because we don’t ask…or we ask and don’t receive because we ask with wrong motives to spend it on selflish pleasures.
In Matthew 5 verses 22 and 28, Jesus tells us that one who is angry with a brother has committed murder in his heart, and one who looks on another lustfully has committed adultery. Think about it. Lust, envy, and discontent are the bottom line of not only quarrels, conflicts, and war, but they are the bottom line of adultery, murder, and yes…theft. One steals whatever he steals because of being discontent and then lusting after what he does not have.
James tells us that where jealousy and selfish ambition reside, there also lives disorder and every evil thing.
“But He (God) gives a greater grace. Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:6-8
There are a lot of Youtube videos of a worshipful song called “Draw Me Close to You.”