The Eighth Commandment – Q&A #3

The Eighth Commandment
“Thou shalt not steal”

Question: What else can be stolen from people besides material things?

Answer: People have ideas, thoughts, reputations, time, and opportunity. For instance, when in school you have probably been warned not to copy the answers from another student’s test papers. That is called cheating, and is a form of stealing. So is manipulating others to do what we want. Whenever you take anything from another dishonestly, it is stealing.

“‘Thou shalt not steal,’ that is, thou shalt not rob man of money, which is but trash, compared with his rights of mind and character.” (Mis. 67)

“Secret mental efforts to obtain help from one who is unaware of this attempt, demoralizes the person who does this, the same as other forms of stealing, and will end in destroying health and morals.”  (Ret. 71)

We learn that we must be on the alert for thoughts and actions that steal from others. And, if we are tempted to steal, we must remember that there is no real gain or happiness in any kind of theft.

“The thief believes that he gains something by stealing . . . The Science of Mind corrects such
mistakes, for Truth demonstrates
the falsity of error.” (S&H 294)

“What hinders man’s progress is his . . . effort to steal from others and avoid hard work.”
(Mis. 234)

Practice: Have you ever pretended to be ill or tired in order to get out of doing chores or homework? Think about how that might be a form of stealing. How would your action affect others?

* * *
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume One: The Ten Commandments”
Copyright 2001)

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8th - #3


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