The Seventh and Eighth Commandment
You shall not steal.
God also wants property protected. He has commanded that no one shall take away from, or diminish, his neighbor’s possessions. For to steal is nothing else than to get possession of another’s property wrongfully.
—Large Catechism Part 1:223-4
Consider a manservant or maidservant who does not serve faithfully in the house, does damage, or allows damage to be done when it could be prevented. He ruins and neglects the goods entrusted to him, by laziness, idleness, or hate, to the spite and sorrow of master and mistress. In whatever way this can be done purposely (I’m not talking about what happens by mistake and against one’s will), you can in a year steal thirty or forty florins.
—Large Catechism Part 1:225
This is what is forbidden: (a) To do our neighbor any injury or wrong (in any conceivable manner, by impeding, hindering, and withholding his possessions and property), or even to consent or allow such injury. Instead, we should interfere and prevent it. (b) It is commanded that we advance and improve his possessions. When they suffer lack, we should help, share, and lend both to friends and foes [Matthew 5:42].
—Large Catechism Part 1:250
You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
Over and above our own body, spouse, and temporal possessions, we still have another treasure—honor and good reputation [Proverbs 22:1]…. It is intolerable to live among people in open shame and general contempt. Therefore, God does not want the reputation, good name, and upright character of our neighbor to be taken away or diminished.
—Large Catechism Part 1:255-6
The eighth commandment forbids all sins of the tongue [James 3], by which we may injure or confront our neighbor…. God prohibits whatever is done with the tongue against a fellow man. This applies to false preachers with their doctrine and blasphemy, false judges and witnesses with their verdict, or outside of court by lying and speaking evil. Here belongs the detestable, shameful vice of speaking behind a person’s back and slandering, to which the devil spurs us on, and of which much could be said. For it is a common evil plague that everyone prefers hearing evil more than hearing good about his neighbor.
—Large Catechism Part 1:263-4
Lenten Catechesis from Treasury of Daily Prayer © 2008 Concordia Publishing House.
Used with permission.
All rights reserved. www.cph.org
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