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.”
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”
To read more about this book and blog, please see the “About” page (use link at top of this page). To receive these weekday posts via email, locate the “Follow” button and sign up. You can also go to the “Contact Me” page and send a request to sign up and I’ll send an invitation with a link to join.
Go to the “Ten Commandments” page (use link at top of page), to read previous posts, plus introductory and background material to help in teaching the lessons.
To print out the image below, which is from the original book, click on the image and save to your computer. To read explanation on how to use these “clip and carry” lessons, see the “About” page.