Mrs. Clayton had recently lost her husband through his sudden death in a car accident. She was working on her husband's business when she noticed a large debt from a certain firm. Due to a certain bankruptcy case, her husband's business had lost tens of thousands of dollars, and she could not pay the full bill due this firm.
She visited the finance manager of the firm who told her that they had no record of her husband's business debt. Surprised, she returned home. Looking over it again, however, she was certain that the money must be owing to this firm.
The following day, she returned and explained to the finance manager that her husband must have owed this money, and if so, she would be willing to pay some each month until all would be paid.
The manager stared at her in surprise. "Ma'am," he remarked, "I have many cases where people do not pay when they know they owe us, but you want to pay us when I have no record that you owe us! Why are you insisting that you owe us money?"
"It is my Christian duty to deal honestly in all matters," she answered.
"I will review the situation and let you know again, Ma'am," he replied seriously.
Upon a thorough review, he found that Mrs. Clayton was right. He informed her, and she paid a large sum each month for four years to clear the debt.
With the receipt for the last payment, she found a note from the finance manager which read, "Dear Mrs. Clayton, I have dealt with many people who call themselves Christians, but until now I had never been impressed."
How do each of these three examples illustrate a proper spirit of honesty in business and concern for the possessions of others, as required by the eighth commandment?
The eighth commandment, by forbidding stealing, requires honest labor; it commands us to work. There are exceptions; those who cannot work due to age or health factors are to be provided for by those who can. To collect welfare when one is able to work but does not want to, however, is theft. This is stealing from those who labor honestly and make their contribution.
Regarding the second table of God's law, how are God's children different from the world's children?