“In Jesus Christ dwells all the fullness of the Divine bodily.” - Colossians 2:6, 9
Kempton New Church

Week 5    Day 1


The Seventh Commandment

Exod. 20: 15, Deut. 5:19. Thou shalt not steal.

Life 80. In proportion as anyone shuns thefts of every kind as sins, in the same proportion he loves honesty. To “steal,” in the natural sense, means not only to commit theft and robbery, but also to defraud, and under some pretext take from another his goods. But in the spiritual sense to “steal” means to deprive another of his truths of faith and his goods of charity. And in the highest sense to “steal” means to take away from the Lord that which is His and attribute it to oneself, and thus to claim justice and merit for oneself. These are “thefts of every kind.” And they also make one as do adulteries of every kind and murders of every kind.... The reason why they make one is that they are one within another.

Life 81. The evil of theft enters more deeply into a man than any other evil, because it is conjoined with cunning and deceit; and cunning and deceit insinuate themselves even into the spiritual mind of man in which is his thought with understanding.

Life 82. That in proportion as anyone shuns theft as a sin, in the same proportion he loves honesty [sinceritas], is because theft is also fraud, and fraud and honesty are two opposite things, so that in proportion as anyone is not in theft, in the same proportion he is in honesty.

Life 83. Honesty is to be understood as including integrity, justice, faithfulness, and uprightness. No man can be in these [qualities] from himself so as to love them from and for themselves. But he who shuns as sins fraud, cunning, and deceit is in these [honest qualities], and therefore he is in them not from himself but from the Lord.... Such is the case with a priest, a magistrate, a judge, a businessman, and with everyone in his own office and his own work.

Life 86. Man possesses a natural mind and a spiritual mind. The natural mind is below, and the spiritual mind above. The natural mind is the mind of man’s world, and the spiritual mind is the mind of his heaven. The natural mind may be called the animal mind, and the spiritual mind the human mind. Man is distinguished from the animal by possessing a spiritual mind. By means of this mind he can be in heaven while still in the world; and it is by means of this mind also that man lives after death.

Life 86:2. As to the understanding, a man is able to be in the spiritual mind and consequently in heaven. But as to the will, he cannot be in the spiritual mind and consequently in heaven unless he shuns evils as sins. And if he is not there as to his will, he is still not in heaven, for the will drags the understanding down, and causes it to be just as natural and animal as it is itself.

Life 86:3. Man may be compared to a garden, his understanding to light, and his will to heat. In wintertime a garden is in light but not in accompanying heat, but in summertime it is in light accompanied by heat. Just so, a man who is in the light of the understanding alone is like a garden in wintertime, whereas one who is in the light of the understanding and at the same time in the heat of the will is like a garden in summertime. Moreover, the understanding is wise from spiritual light, and the will loves from spiritual heat, for spiritual light is Divine wisdom, and spiritual heat is Divine love.

Life 86:4. So long as a man does not shun evils as sins, the lusts of evils block up the interiors of the natural mind on the part of the will, being like a thick veil there, and like a black cloud beneath the spiritual mind, and they prevent its being opened. But in fact, as soon as a man shuns evils as sins, the Lord inflows from heaven, takes away the veil, dispels the cloud, opens the spiritual mind, and so introduces the man into heaven.

Questions and Thoughts for Reflection
  1. How many of these are examples of stealing:
    • Wasting someone’s time
    • Stealing someone’s enjoyment of their work by constant disapproval and fault-finding
    • Gossip, defamation or slander, that takes away a person’s ability to function and improve
    • Lowering the dignity of someone’s use by making jokes about him or his work
    • Stealing our children’s future by giving them a lousy upbringing, or by deficit spending
    • Giving ourselves credit for work someone else did
    • Giving ourselves credit for work that really the Lord did
  2. What other kinds of theft have you seen? (What other kinds of theft do you struggle against?)
  3. Is sneaky, secret theft worse than armed robbery?
  4. Why is it essential for us to shun taking other people’s things as a sin against God rather than just as a matter of avoiding trouble?
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