• Staci Sweet

Pilfering In The Workplace

This is a sensitive REAL ISSUE so let me first start this off by saying, this doesn't apply to everybody. But in continuing our studying on inward mountains, let's move on to another subtle one that often goes undetected. So say for instance you're believing God for a promotion; but for some reason, you're always overlooked. You thought it was due in part to racism and/or favoritism on your boss' part; and that could very well be the case. But could it be that you blocked it because of an inward mountain called pilfering? Titus 2:9, 10 says, ‘Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.’ Pilfering is not a word that we use regularly. But even though it’s not used; it’s done frequently. In fact, you won’t find too many people; regardless as to race, religion or gender, who don’t do it. So what exactly is it?

What is Pilfering?

According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, pilfering means ‘to steal stealthily in small amounts often; again and again1.' You see it done most often on the job. Allow me to give you an illustration. Most of you work full time which means you were hired to give your employer no less than forty (40) hours of work per week. More than likely, during those forty hours, your employer gives you two (2) fifteen minute paid breaks every four hours; with a thirty or sixty minute unpaid lunch in between. In exchange, your employer agrees to pay you a set hourly or annual wage to compensate you for your hours worked. But what usually happens is that your employer receives less than five or six hours of work from you* daily. But how can that be? Because during those forty hours you;

• Converse with your colleagues about unimportant work issues.

• You often chat with your co-workers about non work related issues.

• You take bathroom breaks.

• If you’re a smoker, then you take at least four additional smoke breaks.

• If you’re not a smoker, you do the same because of what your smoking colleagues do.

Now factor in the time that’s spent;

•Checking your cell phone.


•Making outgoing and accepting incoming personal calls.

Not to mention the time you spend;

•Checking your personal email.

•Responding to a co-workers non-work related email.

•Scrolling through your Facebook®, Twitter®, and Instagram® accounts and

• Researching your personal agenda online.

Plus combine the fact that you;

• Add five to eight minutes to each of your paid breaks.

• Take extended lunches.

• Are late to work plus you,

• Leave early…

Factor all that in and you - yes you - have just pilfered hours of work. But pilfering doesn’t sound so bad; so let’s just call it what it is; you’ve stealthily stolen small amounts of time from your employer and the disheartening part is that you were paid to do it. And because you weren't arrested or disciplined, you find nothing wrong with your stealthful stealing. But do you think God is going to promote a time thief?

Fidelity On The Job

Notice the Bible says ‘…bondservants…be obedient… not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity.’ Fidelity can be likened to the faithfulness you expect from your spouse. You expect that person to honor their commitment and not cheat on you. But what if they did it stealthily; meaning, they only met with their mistress once a month; would that still be cheating? As a child of God, especially one in the workplace, God expects you to be faithful; even with your time. Your promotion or lack thereof, could be due to the fact that you've been cheating your employer and that's because you need to address that inward mountain of pilfering i.e. theft. Be found faithful with your time; whether your co-workers do or not or whether your Supervisor cares or not. Do your job – all forty hours worth; because your real employer, your Heavenly Father, is watching to see if He can promote you.

Pray this with me: Heavenly Father, please forgive me for the times I've stolen from my employer. Lord, please show me how to give them exactly what they're paying me to do and teach me how to do it in excellence. Lord, will You also remind me that regardless as to what my co-workers are doing or what my Supervisors ignore, that I'm working unto You. In Jesus' name.

*This doesn’t apply to everyone; so please don’t be offended.


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