You Shall Not Steal

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The Ten Commandments


“You Shall Not Steal”

Exodus 20:15


If you have stuck with me over the last 8 newsletters, you will know that these commandments are rarely taken at face value. The Eighth Commandment is no exception. Of course it is a sin to break into our neighbors’ home and take what is not ours; but there are other forms of “stealing” that would fall under this commandment.


  • Not paying our bills is stealing from whom we owe (Leviticus 19)
  • Wasting time at work steals from our employers
  • Creating a shoddy product and selling at high value is stealing (James 5)
  • Taking advantage of the goodness of others is stealing (2 Thess 3:10-12)
  • Not tithing is stealing (Malachi 3:8-10)
  • Gaining wealth or provisions without working for them (Exodus 20:9)
  • Taking another’s idea for your own


We are commanded to “work” (Exodus 20:9) and be “content with our wages” (Luke 3:14).  We are not to rationalize our sin by thinking that “our wages should be higher so it is ok to steal from our work place” or think that we can “steal from someone who is rich because they will never miss it.”  


Jesus describes Satan as a “Thief” in John 10. Perhaps one reason why God hates thieves so much is because Satan is a thief of men. Stealing them away through deception and dishonesty.


What Did Jesus say about the 8th Commandment?


  • Matthew 19:16-22-The rich young ruler was sent away without salvation.
  • Acts 20:35-It is better to give than to receive
  • John 10-Jesus describes Satan as a “thief”

Roxanne Harlien