What is the opposite of theft?

Thoughts with regard to the seventh commandment
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1. What can we steal? By far it is not only an object, which may become other people’s property to be stolen. According to its original interpretation the seventh commandment referred to kidnapping. God has given people the freedom of choice even at the cost that we turn against Him and kill His only begotten son. We should not expropriate the freedom of any person. Trust can also be stolen. All kinds of manipulation, illicit profit or fraud are thefts. Greediness and prodigality are also theft because they limit other people’s prosperity. As we destroy the Earth now, we steal from our descendants. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. What is the opposite of theft? The opposite of theft is not the pledge of "I will not steal from now on". We do not steal the opportunity from others only – if we create it for them. As in the case of every commandment, including the seventh about theft, the point is not what I DO NOT do, but what I do. The lazy non-action is day theft. The real opposite of theft is not self-restraint or refraining from the sin of theft but generosity, providing advantages to others and increasing others’ self-confidence and self-esteem. Only a life of dedicated service is free of theft. You do not take away only if you give. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. When do I not steal from God? Life is a zero-sum game only in case we do not believe that God still goes on creating and He overwhelms us with His love stream in every moment. This inexhaustible source provides the extra love in the world that can be forwarded again and again. Our lives become complete if they are connected to the love network of the Holy Trinity. If we close inside the love falling on us and we do not forward it, we steal from God. One of the criteria of canonization in the Christian Church is that the candidate should radiate joy around him. We are all able to radiate joy around us because this joy comes from the infinite love reaching us. Forwarding God’s love what makes our joy complete, too. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 


 

Introduction. This season’s essays are written about the Ten Commandments. With regard to the first commandment ("I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt not have strange gods before Me.") I wrote about the Christian identity. Interpreting the second and the third commandments („You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. Remember to keep holy the Lord's day.”) I examined the concept of the real honoring of God. Regarding the fourth commandment („Honor your father and your mother!”) I was looking for the answer to what makes a dialogue determining in somebody’s life? The key idea of the answer is the openness to honor other people (e.g. our parents). Thinking over the fifth commandment ("You shall not murder!") I showed that there are many ways to commit a murder in our everyday lives, and whom we kill when we are unable to forgive. I also thought it over what we must murder to become capable of accepting Jesus. Related to the sixth commandment ("You shall not commit adultery!") I try to find an answer to how we can avoid fornication and what purity means as a state of life. During the interpretation of the seventh commandment ("You shall not steal!") I am looking for answers to the questions of what we can steal, what the opposite of theft is and when we do not steal from God.

 

1. What can we steal?

 

Some people almost brag about what they can steal (of course, in such a "talented way" so they cannot be caught legally at all). By far it is not only an object, which may become other people’s (or a community’s) property to be stolen. According to its original interpretation the seventh commandment referred to kidnapping (i.e.: selling a free man for a slave). (For this interpretation see e.g. 1Timothy 1:10 where Apostle Paul briefly summarizes the points of the ten commandments and he talks about kidnapping instead of stealing.) According to one of the Bible’s examples Joseph was sold for a slave by his brothers (Genesis 37:28). God has given people the freedom of choice even at the cost that we turn against Him and kill His only begotten son. We should not expropriate the freedom of any person. What God has given to others, we are not allowed to take away.

 

"Theft is all profits that someone gets at someone else’s expense.
Theft is all advantage that someone gets to the detriment of someone else."

(Martin Luther)

 

Trust can also be stolen. Jacob misused his father’s, Isaac’s blindness when wearing his brother’s, Esau’s clothes and by doing this he stole Esau’s smell. Moreover, he covered his hands and neck with young goatskins so he also stole Esau’s touch to steal his father’s blessing his father intended to give to his elder brother, Esau (Genesis 27). Absalom, King David’s son (according to the original Hebrew text, literary) “stole” the hearts of the people of Israel when instead of his father he played the ‘righteous judge’ for the complainants coming to his father, the king for judgment (2Samuel 15:4-6). All kinds of manipulation, illicit profit or fraud are thefts. Greediness and prodigality are also theft because they limit other people’s prosperity. As we destroy the Earth now, we steal from our descendants. God’s property, our common treasure, the created world can also be robbed – radically…

 


 

2. What is the opposite of theft?

 

"He that stole, let him now steal no more;
but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good,
that he may have something to give to him that suffereth need.”
(Ephesians 4:28)

 

I remember my mother’s words, who told me the following when I cast shadow on her when she was sunbathing: "My son, do not take away what you cannot give." The opposite of theft is not the pledge of "I will not steal from now on". We do not steal the opportunity from others only – if we create it for them. As in the case of every commandment, including the seventh about theft, the point is not what I DO NOT do, but what I do. The lazy non-action is day theft. The real opposite of theft is not self-restraint or refraining from the sin of theft but generosity, providing advantages to others and increasing others’ self-confidence and self-esteem. Only a life of dedicated service is free of theft. You do not take away only if you give.

 


 

3. When do I not steal from God?

 

"The energy radiated by the sun on the plant can be found in the fruit. That is why God considers our defaults sins. That is why our Lord asks His people why their lives lacked good fruits. He has the right to ask: where is the energy from your life that I have radiated on you that I have given to you?" (Pál Zászkaliczy, Sr.)

 

During our lives the "old man" living in us (Colossians 3:9) strives continuously to steal us from God’s authority and remove us from the life-changing vicinity of Jesus. Life is a zero-sum game only in case we do not believe that God still goes on creating and He overwhelms us with His love stream in every moment. This inexhaustible source provides the extra love in the world that can be forwarded again and again. Our lives become complete if they are connected to the love network of the Holy Trinity. If we close inside the love falling on us and we do not forward it, we steal from God. (The real love sink is devil. His blackness swallows every light radiated on him. We should NOT follow devil not to pass the energy of love we received to others.) One of the criteria of canonization in the Christian Church is that the candidate should radiate joy around him. We are all able to radiate joy around us because this joy comes from the infinite love reaching us. Forwarding God’s love what makes our joy complete, too. I wish all my dear Readers a joy of life becoming complete in giving!

 

 

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