Thou shalt not steal. As simple as this commandment might be, there are a lot of things you need to learn. The eighth commandment is simply a commandment protecting one’s property. However, if you are just keeping this commandment to the letter, you are missing the whole point of God when He wrote it down for all of us to read.
Other forms of stealing
There are obvious ways on how people steal. This might be corruption in the government, stealing a car or food from a grocery store, pick pocketing, declaring holdup, robbing a bank, forcibly taking away of a purse, and others.
However, you might be surprised that there are other forms of stealing that you unknowingly be doing all this time. Here’s a quick list of 10 not so obvious ways on how the Eight commandment is broken.
Point no. 1: Buying pirated goods
Since it is very cheap, most people tend to buy the imitated version – from pirated DVDs to fake brands.
Point no. 2: Cheating on exams
In schools where students are infected with the “every-one-is-doing-it” mentality, it seems that cheating and plagiarism has become the norm. This is considered stealing since it takes away the intellectual property of others.
Point no. 3: Downloading “free” software
Yes, it is true that there are really free software programs and applications from the Internet. However, there is also a lot of software for sale that you can use without paying for it. The use of crack codes and hacking techniques are so common that people seem to be callous with this type of stealing.
Point no. 4: Downloading movies or music
This probably is the most difficult to avoid. I, too, admit that I am guilty of this. With the use of torrent software, we can easily download movies or music without paying for it.
Point no. 5: Goofing around during work hours
You can steal time and money from your company without even knowing it. The moment you do things that are not related to your work or you have no permission to do so, it is deemed as stealing since you are paid to perform a work.
Point no. 6: Gossiping, libel slander
Gossiping can also be considered as stealing. When you gossip, you steal other people’s reputation, especially when you do it deliberately to destroy them. Gossip, libel, and slander are more destructive than stealing a physical property. Once you destroyed the good name of a person, it cannot be FULLY restored anymore.
Point no. 7: Humiliating
Cyber-bullying is under this category as well. Public humiliation steals people’s dignity and confidence.
Point no. 8: Marketing misrepresentation
Most ads on TV, newspaper, and other media seem to be driven by money-making to the point that they don’t see it is wrong to add a little lie in their ads. Exaggerating their good points, while downplaying or omitting their bad points are some of the ways sales agents make money. Deceiving people just to convince them of buying your product or hiring your service can be considered as stealing.
Point no. 9: Not giving tithes
God commands that we should tithe to sustain the work of the Church. Not tithing is equated to robbing God (Malachi 3:8-9).
Point no. 10: Not keeping your word
Lying is considered stealing. Why? Because it steals people’s trust. One good example is when you proclaim insincere love for another person just to acquire their wealth, body, love and trust.
Of all the Ten Commandments, it is the Eighth that is open-ended. It doesn’t specifically mention what not to steal. In fact, the Eighth commandment has something to do with other commandments. It simply says thou shalt not steal the honor of your parents, the life of innocent people, your neighbor’s spouse, the truth and justice, and other people’s property through coveting.
Imagine a world where people just keep the Eight commandment. We would not need any padlock; we don’t need security guards; we don’t need walls to protect our property; you can leave your things in public places; you don’t need to put a password on your computer; and so many wonderful things. In short, even just keeping the Eighth commandment can make this world a better place to live in.
God’s commandments are life. It supports the advancement and prosperity of people. May God speed that day when He establishes His kingdom on earth. May God speed that day when everyone will finally keep the Eight commandment, thou shalt not steal.
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