The Seventh Commandment
“You shall not steal." ~ Exodus 20:16
"We should so fear and love God as not to rob our neighbor of their money or property, nor bring it into our possession by cheating them through fraudulent means. Instead we should help them to improve and protect it." ~ Martin Luther
Again I love Luther's words here.
Maybe you've noticed that in his descriptions, he not only expounds on what we shouldn't do, but also tells us what we should do instead.
So it isn't enough not to take what isn't ours.
But we should also help our neighbor improve and protect what is theirs.
How do we do that?
But advocating for fair housing, tax, and zoning laws. By helping with organizations like Good Works, which helps low-income people with home repairs.
By providing help with transportation needs.
By honoring property lines.
By cultivating open spaces, and clean air and waterways so that people can enjoy and thrive in God's creation.
By not littering or polluting.
By doing your part to combat climate change. It is the poorer nations in the world who are most harmed by it.
Caring for our neighbor, loving them, being in relationship with them, means honoring what they care about as much as you care for what is yours so that they might live full and abundant lives.
A Prayer by Martin Luther: Dearest God and Lord, strengthen and uphold us in your pure, precious Word through Jesus Christ our Lord, and help us to show and live our thanks with our fruits of faith to your praise and thanks forever. Amen.