Previously I emphasized the ethical and legal issues linked with the usage of pirated software. Today I want to address another aspect of the problem. Although all of us fear the legal repercussions of software piracy, the majority of us don’t bother about the spiritual repercussions. In this episode, I want to mention a few. You may choose to agree with me or disagree. Nevertheless, the word of God is relevant to all times. When God says something is wrong it is always wrong and when he says something is right it is always right.
The risk of losing my Salvation
I explained previously that software piracy is the equivalent of stealing. I also said possessing pirated software is like possessing stolen goods. The Bible condemns thieves and thievery. (1 Corinthians 6:10) Then it actually makes sense to say that we risk our precious souls when we use pirated software.
Produce the fruit of Repentance
If you are guilty of using pirated software, remember that there’s no sin God won’t forgive if we repent. Repenting alone isn’t sufficient, however. It must be followed by the fruit of repentance. What is the fruit of repentance? The answer is in Acts 19:19.
You can’t repent and continue to use pirated software. Instead, you must uninstall any pirated software from your computer and also destroy any copies you may have stored elsewhere. Your act of repentance will be incomplete otherwise.
Alternatives for Pirated Software
Here are a few suggestions if you find genuine software products to be expensive and difficult to afford.
(A) Open Source and Freeware
Open source doesn’t necessarily mean free but you can find so many free open source and freeware alternatives.
(B) End of Development Software
Sometimes commercial software vendors give away their software products that are marked to have reached the end of the development cycle for free. (ex: Adobe Creative Suite 2)
(C) Cheaper Software Editions
Some software vendors offer licenses for stripped-down versions of their software suites that are much more affordable than the complete software suite (ex: Microsoft Office Home & Student).
(D) Purchasing used Software
eBay is a good place to purchase used legitimate software. Transferring the license may not be allowed for some software, however. When in doubt, check the end-user license.
(E) Nonprofit Licensing
Software vendors like Microsoft and Adobe offer special discounts for churches and certified nonprofits. Check with your local software store for details.
(F) Pray for Provision
Last but not least, we can always pray to God. If we can trust God to provide our other needs why not trust him to provide our software needs also.
Just like I said in the opening of this article you may or may not agree with what I have to say about software piracy from a biblical and spiritual point of view. I won’t take offense. After all, I am not standing to lose anything. However, what if you made the wrong choice and I am right? Please, don’t undermine your precious soul for a piece of software.
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