Question 75: What is forbidden in the Eighth Commandment?

Answer: The Eighth Commandment forbiddeth whatsoever doth or may unjustly hinder our own or our neighbour's wealth or outward estate.

Dear neighbor,

The Lord God sees all and knows all. It is therefore prudent for a follower of Jesus Christ to be concerned, not for ones needs only but the needs of other people also. 

Yesterday, Darlene and I were traveling and we stopped at a certain place to eat lunch. A man whom we do not know came up to us in the parking lot asking money for some ministry. He claimed to be a follower of Jesus Christ but the man spoke so fast and his only concern was getting what he called donations. I did not give him any money because I did not believe it wise. It is prudent that a follower of Jesus Christ should not do anything that hinders our own wealth. I work very hard taking care of my neighbor in the intensive care unit. It is my job which God gave to me me that I may provide for my own needs and the needs of my household. (cf. 1 Tim. 5:8) I shall not do anything that unjustly hinders my own wealth and this is not to say that one should not give to those who have real needs but to be prudent with the wealth that God has entrusted to us.

Thieves come in many disguises and some thieves even use the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul said that thieves and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God. (cf. 1 Cor. 9-10) A swindler is someone who tricks people out of their wealth. Many swindlers pray on the poor and the ignorant and also on the heart. Job 24:2-4, says:

“Some remove the landmarks;
They seize and devour flocks.
“They drive away the donkeys of the orphans;
They take the widow’s ox for a pledge.
“They push the needy aside from the road;
The poor of the land are made to hide themselves altogether.

Stealing has been defined by some as taking what does not belong to you without the permission of the owner but that does not give a good enough definition in my opinion because swindlers trick people into willing giving away their wealth. Steeling always hurts other people, no matter how it is done, and makes a person feel violated.

Michael Peek
Your Servant for Jesus’ Sake