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What is the opposite of theft?

Thoughts with regard to the seventh commandment

 

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.)

 

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