Purpose: Use this children’s sermon about the eighth of the Ten Commandments to teach children how much damage stealing does.
Scripture: Exodus 20:15
Needed: picture of a POW digging a hole
Show students your picture of a POW (prisoner of war) digging a hole. Say, did you know that one thing people used to do to punish prisoners they captured in war was to make them dig holes? Does that sound fun? Digging a hole all day?
That would be hard work. But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is that when the prisoner was finished digging the hole, they filled it back in!
How do you think it made the prisoner feel to work all day digging a hole just to have someone fill the hole back in?
It would make them feel like they wasted their time, wouldn’t it? They worked all day and then, didn’t even have anything to show for it.
I think that’s why God says in number eight of the Ten Commandments…
(Read Exodus 20:15 , quoted here in the NIV.)
“You shall not steal.”
When we steal something from someone, we’re not only taking what they have, but we’re making all their efforts to get what they have seem useless. Maybe an adult went to work to get the money to buy what they have. If we steal from them, it’s like their time working was useless.
Maybe another kid was really good and did their chores and saved up their allowance. If we steal from them, it’s like their time doing their chores and saving their money was useless.
If someone gives somebody a gift, and then we steal that thing from them, the gift doesn’t do that person any good.
If we steal from people, it makes them feel bad about what they lost and about the time they wasted to get it. That’s why God tells us not to steal. It’s not only about what we take from someone. It’s also about we make them feel.
Father, help us to remember that stealing makes other people feel bad about what we take from them and about the time lost or the gift lost to get that item. Help us to follow Your Commandment not to steal from anyone. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
You can also find this children’s sermon for Kindle or in print in my book, Children’s Sermon about the Ten Commandments.