AN AMAZING FACT: More than $13 billion worth of goods are stolen from retailers each year. That amounts to more than $35 million every day.
Shoplifting is a serious problem in the United States. One in 11 people steal goods from stores. That’s about 27 million offenders. They take from all types of stores and have no typical profile. Men and women are equally prone to this type of thievery. Approximately 25 percent of shoplifters are kids. About three percent are “professional” in their work, stealing for the purpose of reselling products. But the vast majority of shoplifters are non-professionals.
Why do people shoplift? The professionals often are drug addicts who steal to feed their bad habit. Others are part of larger operations, running illegal businesses. But most people who steal have no other major criminal intent or a desire for financial gain. They are driven by social and personal pressures in their lives.
Many get addicted to this evil habit and actually like the excitement of “getting away with it.” Called kleptomania, it’s almost like a high from taking drugs. Our text for this morning says, “There is one who makes himself rich” but has nothing. In other words, there are people who hoard wealth or pretend to be wealthy. They want so badly to look good that they will take extreme measures to appear affluent. But it’s all emptiness.
It’s like the foolish man in Jesus’ parable (Luke 12:16–21) who thought by building bigger barns and hoarding his possessions, he would find peace. In reality his life was about to end and he would enter the grave and eternity with nothing.
On the other hand, when the apostles asked Jesus, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?” Jesus responded, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life” (Mark 10:27,29–30).
When we come to Christ and admit our sinfulness and our great need, the Lord gives us the gift of eternal life. It’s a blessing that cannot be measured in dollars.
Additional reading: Proverbs 13:1–12
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches. Proverbs 13:7