Thou Shalt Not Steal

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Therefore his boss gave his reward to another who had worked hard to benefit someone besides himself. Jesus used this parable to illustrate God's low opinion of self pity and selfishness.

Thou shalt not steal

Can we steal from God? The Bible helps us recognize yet another form of stealing. From the time of Abraham Genesis forward, the Bible shows examples of how God's faithful servants formally acknowledged who really owns everything being of course God. They faithfully gave Him one tenth of their increase. In the covenant God made with ancient Israel, a tenth of the people's increase was set aside for the priests to finance their spiritual service to the nation.

Needless to say, this practice of tithing meaning giving a tenth never became popular with most people. It required faith that God would amply supply their needs if they were a giving people.


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By B. They continued the pattern of disobedience and were taken as captives to Babylon in B. About a century later a small group of Jews returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the city and the temple under the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah. But their loyalty to God soon began to wane as it had before their captivity. Through the prophet Malachi, God reprimanded the priests for neglecting the teaching of His laws Malachi Meanwhile, He reproved the people for keeping His tithe for themselves. Yet you have robbed me. But you say, Wherein have we robbed you?

In tithes and offerings. The leaders of the Jews at that time reversed the nation's disobedience and instituted detailed regulations to force everyone to comply with the law. The physical aspects of these regulations were strict but many people continued in woeful negligence when it came to the spiritual aspects of the law. Later Jesus condemned their misguided priorities.

Three Important Principles

He supported the Jews' continued observance of the physical aspects of the law and their faithful tithing. But He criticized their failure also to emphasize the spiritual virtues of faith, mercy and justice. Jesus told them they should have been doing both, practicing the law of tithing along with exercising faith, mercy and justice. Jesus Christ affirmed the practice of tithing, of giving back to God a portion of what He gives us.

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We are not to take for ourselves the tenth that belongs to Him. Not to kidnap Exodus 20 Not to rob openly Leviticus Not to withhold wages or fail to repay a debt Leviticus Not to covet and scheme to acquire another's possession Exodus Not to desire another's possession Deuteronomy Return the robbed object or its value Leviticus Not to ignore a lost object Deuteronomy Return the lost object Deuteronomy The court must implement laws against the one who assaults another or damages another's property Exodus Maimonides the Rambam viewed stealing as one step in the progression from covetous desire to murder.

When the person who owns a coveted item resists its unjust acquisition, the thief resorts to violence and may become guilty of murder. Desire leads to coveting, and coveting leads to stealing. For if the owner of the coveted object does not wish to sell, even though he is offered a good price and is entreated to accept, the person who covets the object will come to steal it, as it is written Mikha [Micah ], 'They covet fields and then steal them.

Go and learn from the example of Achav [Ahab] and Navot [Naboth]. After Naboth was subsequently stoned to death, Ahab seized possession of Naboth's vineyard. The New Testament repeats the commandment not to steal, [20] contains dire warnings about spiritual consequences of the practice, [21] and upholds the basic ideas of private property rights and the proper role of governmental authorities in punishing thieves. The hypocritical thief is personified by Judas , who took secretly his part from the money Jesus and the apostles raised for helping the poor ; he objected when Mary ointed Jesus with pure nard , pretending hypocritically it would have been useful if the nard would have been sold and the money given to the poor.

While private property rights are affirmed, the overriding theme in the New Testament is that one should trust and hope in God rather than in one's material possessions, and there is an acknowledgement of a struggle in the heart between loving God and loving money. It is said that "the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils" 1 Timothy And also:. Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Thou shalt not steal: Theft, fraud abound today

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. The book of 1 Corinthians asserts that thieves, swindlers, and the greedy will be excluded from the kingdom of God as sure as adulterers, idolaters, and the sexual immoral, but that those who leave these sins behind can be sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus 1 Corinthians Thomas Aquinas points out that just as "Thou shalt not kill" forbids one to injure his neighbor in his own person; and "Thou shalt not commit adultery" forbids injury to the person to whom one is bound in marriage; the Commandment, "Thou shalt not steal," forbids one to injure his neighbor in his goods.

The seventh commandment forbids unjustly taking or keeping the goods of one's neighbor and wronging him in any way with respect to his goods. It commands justice and charity in the care of earthly goods and the fruits of men's labor.

The Eight Commandment-"Thou Shalt Not Steal" - Guidelines Devotional

For the sake of the common good, it requires respect for the universal destination of goods and respect for the right to private property. Catholic teaching states that in economic matters, respect for human dignity requires practicing temperance , a virtue that moderates attachment to worldly goods; justice , a virtue that preserves our neighbors rights and renders what is due; and solidarity , in accordance with the golden rule. The following are also considered morally illicit: speculation by which one contrives to manipulate the price of goods artificially in order to gain an advantage to the detriment of others; corruption in which one influences the judgment of those who must make decisions according to law; appropriation and use for private purposes of the common goods of an enterprise; work poorly done; tax evasion; forgery of checks and invoices; excessive expenses and waste.

Thou shalt not steal - John butler trio

Willfully damaging private or public property is contrary to the moral law and requires reparation. In addition, Catholic teaching demands that contracts and promises be strictly observed. Injustices require restitution to the owner. Following Thomas Aquinas , Catholic teaching holds that "if the need be so manifest and urgent, that it is evident that the present need must be remedied by whatever means be at hand for instance when a person is in some imminent danger, and there is no other possible remedy , then it is lawful for a man to succor his own need by means of another's property, by taking it either openly or secretly: nor is this properly speaking theft or robbery".

Catholic teaching reminds that Jesus enjoins his disciples to prefer him to everything and everyone, and bids them "renounce all that [they have]" for his sake and that of the Gospel. The water of eternal life quenches the thirst for God.

The Scriptural remedy is the desire for true happiness that is found in seeking and finding God. Holy people must struggle, with grace from on high, to obtain the good things God promises. Faithful Christians put to death their cravings and, with the grace of God, prevail over the seductions of pleasure and power. CCC, Pope St. The lens of the Seventh Commandment focuses these considerations on our relations and dealings with one another. But theft masks itself in a number of subtle and harmful ways. Refusing to return objects we have found or borrowed may be fairly lightweight offenses; fraud, unjust wages, and taking advantage of the ignorance or economic disadvantage of another person are far more serious.

One 20th Century businessman was known to shake his head whenever he had to sign a contract.


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  7. If we all lived up to our baptismal call, the world would not even require promises to regulate social and commercial interaction. The sad reality of our everyday life is somewhat different. Justice is the virtue by which we give each person her or his due, and justice requires promises and contracts to guarantee that rights are respected, duties performed and obligations fulfilled. If they are not, justice demands restitution and reparation.

    Gambling is a type of…contract and as such is licit provided that there is a reasonable equality between the parties, that the transaction is conducted without fraud, and that the particular type of contract is not prohibited by law. Another, perhaps more chilling form of slavery than that of the gamester addicted to his sport, is the physical slavery that even today haunts our world and continues to rob individuals of their freedom.

    Where is the brother or sister whom you are killing each day in clandestine warehouses, in rings of prostitution, in children used for begging, in exploiting undocumented labour?