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God's eighth commandment states, "Thou shalt not steal" (Exodus 20:15). It condemns all forms of stealing, cheating, or other means by which we design to take to ourselves the goods of our neighbor. This commandment forbids all means by which our own or another's wealth or possessions are unjustly hindered. The eighth commandment requires careful stewardship - the lawful earnings and advancings of the wealth and estate of ourselves and others. It testifies of the God-given right to own property and possessions by placing a protective barrier around each person's goods, saying, "Thou shalt not steal" your neighbor's goods. All things in heaven and on earth belong to God who is their Creator and Owner. However, God places various gifts, talents, and goods into our hands to care for, use, and enlarge as faithful stewards. At the close of our lives, God shall require each person to give an account of his stewardship - that which he did and did not do with all the blessings God had provided for him.

This commandment forbids all forms of armed robbery, theft, embezzling, and counterfeiting, which are punishable by civil law. It also forbids, however, all less noticeable, more subtle, forms of stealing in business dealings.

  • Stewardship - Functions of one who is a steward; one who is placed in charge of a portion of his master's goods

    Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

    - Ephesians 4:28

    But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.

    - I Peter 4:15


  • Embezzling - Swindling; dishonestly appropriating money or goods to one's own use that were entrusted to one's care
  • Counterfeiting - Producing false money with the intent of deceiving others
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