Theft by Any Other Name

Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.

— Mark 12:17

‘A kleptomaniac,’ said Henry Morgan, ‘is a person who helps himself because he can’t help him­self’—or so they claim. It seems like a lot of people today seem to ‘not be able to help themselves’ to all sorts of things. Consider some ways of breaking the eighth commandment, ‘thou shalt not steal’:

Failure to pay taxes or over-taxation on the part of an over-reaching government; Shoplifting; Slum lording; Cheating for grades in school; Welfare for the able-bodied; Wasting time at work; Shoddy auto and house repairs; Looting in time of disaster; Ripping pages from library books; Switching price markers at the supermarket; Price manipulation; Marrying or divorcing for money; False advertising claims; Bribing public officials; Fraudulent stock market trades; Kickbacks on contracts; Profit skimming; Vandalism; Passing unqualified students; Fake insurance claims; ‘Borrowing’ and not returning, and so on.

Paul says let him who steals steal no more, but instead work with his hands to provide for himself, his family, and others. May God grant us grace not to steal in any way.

Question to ponder:
In our dishonest society, how can we develop a right view of our own and others’ property?