Exodus 20:15 Thou shalt not steal
This is another commandment that appears to be very simple on the surface, but actually
relates to a great number of things that most people wouldn't consider stealing. It's also
a commandment that, when committed, often involves committing other sins.
Certainly, stealing is against the law, at least in regard to those things that are
specifically covered by law. When I say law in that sense, I'm talking about the laws of
What I'm concerned with more is the law of God. I like the idea that if a person is living
according to the law of God, they will be living according to the laws of man, often
referred to as the law of the land.
Unfortunately, there are often laws that tend to force us into positions of doing things
we wouldn't ordinarily do, in a perfect world, like break a bad law. God would not want us
to break bad laws, and at the same time, He would not want us to have to live under them.
That's when He entrusts leaders to intercede on behalf of the citizens.
He would think that a priest or minister would intercede on behalf of citizens. Because, a
bad law is stealing liberty from a citizen, and the idea that legislatore would enact laws
that steal liberty and rights from citizens makes the oath they took to represent the
interests of citizens and the constitution of their nations is a lie, a lie that enables
them to steal votes in order to win political office.
It may seem like a stretch, but it really isn't. It's the bottom line truth of how a
beguiled mind works.
If your ego is at work, and you take credit for someone else's work or ideas, that's
stealing. It's also lying about the source.
The problem is, these days, stealing has become common, it's one of those things like
"everyone does it", and then it becomes a matter of a situation where people
accept the idea that it's only a crime if you get caught, otherwise, it's fun to get away
I worked at a store, once, where the person who "trainied me" to take over the
record department told me that one of the perks of the department was being allowed to
take a home a free album now and again. It wasn't a department store or corporate setting,
a sort of friendly stereo store, everyone knew each other, and things of this nature
didn't seem unusual. So, I took a few that way. I didn't find out until afterward that
there was no such "understanding" amongst the employees, but they got a few out
of me that way anyway.
I just went along, knowing I should have asked someone in charge, just for my own peace of
Just because, after all, I was responsible for the department.
I'm sure I could go on and on about how wasting time on the job is theft, and all sorts of
interesting and creative examples that wouldn't benefit the discussion.
What I would want you to consider, though, is the idea that, especially in today's world,
everytime you promise something you don't deliver, you're stealing, even if what you do
most is waste someone's time. If you're a news person telling partisan propaganda stories,
you're stealing truth from individuals, justice from the world, and you're lying. And the
morals and ethics you pretent to represent as journalists steal from the reputations of
those who took their jobs and responsibilities serious.
When you look at a bigger picture, how we giv eand take from each other in every moment,
in more than material ways, in terms of our spirits and our moods and feelings, stealing
means more than just the security of objects: it is the theft of our own goodness, and the
goodness of human nature, as we constantly have to defend ourselves from evil.
That defense robs us of love.