Eighth Commandment- "Do not steal." Deuteronomy 5:19
1 Hear the word of the LORD, you Israelites, because the LORD has a charge to bring against you who live in the land: “There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land. 2 There is only cursing,[a] lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. 3 Because of this the land dries up, and all who live in it waste away; the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea are swept away. (Hosea 4:1-3)
20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” (Mark 7:20-23)
Thoughts: We stand aghast at the looting and stealing in London. But when Katrina removed most of the police presence and ability to respond quickly, people stole and looted almost everything in certain sections of New Orleans. Studies indicate that usually after a disaster looting does not occur (think after the Japanese earthquakes). What does the New Orleans' looters sociological strata and the London looters sociological strata have in common? Poverty is there. Lack of respect for authority and police is there. Envy of those who have more (and a sharp contrast between the have nots and the haves) is there. Education and employment seem to be lacking. The other ingredient that is missing in both mobs is Christian religious commitment (and maybe even a self-perception of rejection of the Christian morals). Certainly stealing is a human phenomenon and sin crosses all religious barriers. But the devout who are taught to not steal are less likely to do so. Jesus said that our outside actions come from our inside heart (including theft). It should not be a surprise that the looting also involves destruction, arson, malice, and arrogance. Inside all of us is the same potential.
Prayer: May my heart be true and pure to you, O Lord. Give me grace to be content and be at peace within that I might not be angry without.