When my sons were growing up, I, like many parents, would get tired of telling them again and again to pick up their toys. So I made up a word that would say it all without wasting words. The word was PIBWIB. It stood for, "Put It Back Where It Belongs." Over time they came to really dislike that word.
But when I think about it, so much of what is wrong with us, our families, our churches, and our world has to do with people, leaders, governments taking things that don't belong to them and not returning them to the place where they belong.
It might be borrowing a tool from a neighbor and not returning it. That causes him to think poorly of us and deciding he won't be lending tools to us or anyone else for that matter. Or it could be when an adult takes a child's innocence, causing lifelong emotional scars. A wife may take a husband's trust when she has an affair causing him to go through life not trusting in a woman again. A man may take his family's faith by refusing to take them to church and turning his back on God. People and organizations, businesses and governments seem to be so much about taking, that they often fail to realize the long-term harm they are doing, many times spanning generations.
There are many words for such actions. "Greed" certainly rises to the top of the barrel. Wouldn't it be great to be able to show all those greedy people the damage that they've done? And wouldn't this world be a better place if they could catch a glimpse of it and decide to return what they took? Couldn't the "Power of PIBWIB" restore many lives, families, churches, organizations, and businesses? But even if people never return what they took, our God does not do the same. Isn't it just amazing that we can count on Him to give to us what he never took in the first place?
Truth be told, as I write this, I recognize a few things I took from people and need to put back. How about you? What are you waiting for?
1 Peter 5:10 - And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered for a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.