I was recently reading a pastor‘s blog, in which he discussed the idea of Christians “stealing” material from one another (in sermons, books, etc.) I guess he began thinking about the topic after he was (pretty wrongly) accused of stealing from another pastor. Which got me thinking…
I bet you if Saint Paul were still alive today, he would have some choice words on this topic.
This is really less of an issue, to me, of stealing or not stealing. In my opinion, this is all rooted in PRIDE, and our intentions when spreading the gospel. Doesn’t the Christian life lead us to abandon our pride?
When I began thinking about it, I started wondering how I would feel if my ideas were stolen. What if somebody took some of my writings, or ideas, and used them for their own gain? My first reaction, of course, would be frustration. But in thinking about it, I realized what a sick and disgusting reaction that is. Because, nothing I write about Christ or the Church is of my own brain. I like to believe that the really fantastic things that I write (if I ever write really fantastic things…) are straight inspiration from the Holy Spirit.
Which, if that is the case, then I really can’t take any credit now can I? In fact, I should be crediting the Holy Spirit — and I’m not. Thus, I must be the number one theft.
Yet, I find that often in the Christian world pastors, writers, worship leaders, etc… are far more concerned about their own pocket book and welfare than that of what is best for the gospel to be spread. PRIDE.
So what if someone steals something you said for their own gain? Yes, it sucks you weren’t paid for it or given the recognition you “deserve.” But, if it is a good and useful idea that could bring forth more GLORY to God then its better to be used so that the widest range of people have access to it.
We need to remember that we are called to die to ourselves. Our lives aren’t oriented around what is best for us, but what is best for Christ. Our reward is not in recognition or in monetary gain, but in the satisfaction of lifting up the One we love.
(I am the biggest hypocrite alive, as I realized I have a copyright notice on my About Me. Oh, Lord, forgive me.)