Today we are going to look at the world of the text of the Eighth Commandment, as found in Exodus 20: 15:
You shall not steal.
One of my favorite TV shows is The Office. It’s basically the background music our lives, it is seemingly always on. There is a great episode dealing with stealing in the office, also how the employees used their time and things such as that. Michael, the boss, always has a running feud with Toby, the HR guy. At one point Michael is yelling at him and calls him a “thief of joy.” That line always makes me laugh but, in many ways, makes me think of what it means for us to steal.
So many of the commands come back to showing us what it means to live in community with people. They have to them a foundation of respect and love for the other person. So, I want to honor the people in my life. My neighbor is worthy of respect and honor. To steal from them would dishonor and cause them harm.
As a customer, if we were to steal from a business, we would be harming them and the people that work there. Likewise, as a business, if we take advantage of someone, that is in many ways much the same. Shady business practices are stealing in a different way, but comes from the same foundation of not honoring, respecting and loving our neighbor.
So in our lives, we need to honor the other. Respect what is there. And do what we can to help each person be successful and content in life. Stealing destroys that and destroys society.
It really is all that simple.
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