“You shall not steal.”
– Exodus 20:15
This commandment refers to stealing as an unjust taking of property that rightfully belongs to another, not only to privately owned personal possessions but also to public properties and social structures and conditions which serve the common good. This means that we should not only take care of our personal things. We likewise need to take care of things or facilities that give service to the public. We should not vandalize nor steal anything from them because these properties serve others and the common good. Therefore, we act responsibly as members of a community by respecting these properties as what the Gospel reminds us. The following shows the offenses against property.
“If a man gives to his neighbor money or goods to keep safe, and it is stolen from the man’s house, then, if the thief is found, he shall pay double.” – Exodus 22:7
Stealing is getting anything that does not rightfully belong to a person. This includes acts of theft such as shoplifting, snatching, pick pocketing, video piracy, smuggling, estafa, looting, graft and corruption.
“Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit, but righteousness delivers from death.” – Proverbs 10:2
Robbery is done even to the point of endangering the life of others especially when a victim is confronted with a gun or knife.
“If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.” – Revelation 13:10
Kidnapping is taking hostages for ransom to extort money from the victim’s family.
“Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.” – Ephesians 4:28
Cheating is a serious form of stealing during quizzes or examinations where one copies the answers that rightfully belong to a classmate.
“Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.” – Proverbs 21:20
Squander is wasting the basic resources such as water, food and clothing. Others lack these important necessities in life so we cannot afford to misuse or throw away things uselessly and thoughtlessly.
“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” – Proverbs 25:28
Vandalism is an intentional destruction or defacement of properties which is done either in spite, anger or sheer foolishness.
“‘Therefore,’ declares the Lord, ‘I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me.'” – Jeremiah 23:30
Plagiarism is an unauthorized use or closely imitating the words and thoughts of another author and claiming them as one’s own work. It is considered academic dishonesty when we cut and paste original work from the internet without quoting the original source.
© Phoenix Christian Life Education 6