Christian Questions and Answers

Is Stealing a (Mortal) Sin?

Is stealing a sin? Clear answer: yes. Stealing is a sin because stealing is nothing but stealing, and stealing is clearly a sin.

So what we are examining in this article here is this: When does stealing actually begin / When does it count as “stealing” before God? What does it mean with God and to God? Is stealing a greater sin than murder or is it perfectly okay? What should I do if I have stolen?

Is stealing a sin in the Bible?

So let’s start with the Sermon on the Mount. (Matthew 5-7) In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us the basic things we need to understand Him and God. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explains how to understand the laws of the Old Testament. For example, it also tells us that theft begins with the desire of another object.

So it is not the act itself that is decisive, but the attitude towards the act. No one will commit a sin if he accidentally takes something because he thinks it is his property. But if someone desires something from the other and wants to have it, and does not hesitate to simply take it, that is clearly theft and thus that person is stealing.

And yes: I do not make a difference in it whether he is something theft or whether someone in “only steals “. This subtle distinction is made, if at all, only with people. Jesus doesn’t make that distinction either.

However, let’s go back to the “I want something” idea. It seems normal for us humans to be envious of certain things. If someone drives up in a Ferrari, we are envious of it. There are very few people who are not envious of this and react with enthusiasm and envy (apparently this is different in the USA but in Germany it is probably the same).

An example on the subject of desire

If we are so envious of the Ferrari, we desire it as well. And this desire is what really constitutes sin. The want to have of another is already “spiritual stealing”. If something belongs to someone else and you want to have it, you are stealing from God.

I personally find this attitude very crass. Therefore I would like to repeat this: If you already only think about wanting the same object as the other person, you are already stealing when it comes to God’s opinion.

So we can assume that already our own nature is ready to steal something else and (that is, to commit theft) than not to do it. These are the general effects of sin. In God’s ideal state, we do not desire.

Why is stealing a sin?

Whoever steals, even in thought, commits a sin. A sin is always a crime against God. Then we would deserve to go to hell. (at least that’s what God says) As we see now, we have a problem. If not the pure stealing (there I mean the physical act itself) is a sin, but already the thoughts we have basically no chance not to please God.

But God knows that. And that is why he sent Jesus.

Through Jesus, God sees us as not doing these crimes against Him. Thus the stealing on good behavior on earth relativizes itself and has no more effect on the eternity.

Personally I find already the message that we steal already by the desire something blatant. But the fact that we can make this thing good just by trusting in Jesus Christ is almost more crass.

Does this mean that we can stand as we please? Of course it doesn’t. It only means that we will not suffer an eternal consequence – very simply speaking, of course – if we covet or even steal something else. What we are not doing then, however: We are not honoring God.

In Romans it is described that by keeping His (moral) commandments we can honor God and lead others to come to God as well. These two important facts should influence the life of every Christian.

What should I do if I have stolen (and committed the sin)?

When someone steals, it directly affects the relationship between that person and God. If that is the case with you, you should make it right. On the one hand with God and on the other hand with the one you stole from.

If you have only done “thought crimes”, then ask God in prayer to forgive you for this sin!

He has promised to forgive everyone who comes before. Try not to have these thoughts in the future. But don’t freak out when you have this hatred either! Remember, God knows and that is why He sent Jesus to earth.

It becomes more complicated if you have stolen something really (speak: physically). In the sense of: An object taken away and made your property. This also carries certain earthly consequences.

At best, the object still exists and you can simply return it.

At best, you still talk to the person it is about (even if it is the manager of a business) and be honest. But how you should make amends in detail, you can best clarify in a prayer with God. They will just come up with ideas and you should follow those ideas – even if they are very, very unpleasant! God will reward.

Is stealing an unforgivable sin?

Now we should still clarify whether stealing is a greater sin than murder. If murder it behaves similarly, as with clown: already the thought or the rage is a murder of a person! That is: Also here it already begins in the level of the thoughts and the feelings!

Also with murder we can not necessarily from our skin. At least not, what it concerns the feelings. Before God however it does not matter whether we are murderer or a thief. Both deeds lead to hell.

Of course we have no idea whether now to the murder in the hell differently is evaluated than a theft, but in the end also does not matter: The hell is a pretty shitty place to spend eternity! And with the conditions, which we have described above, everyone should have done pretty much everything once in his life! Therefore can also assume that both (murder and claws) are equally bad before God.

Is stealing a sin (for catholic)?

Whether stealing is a mortal sin or not depends on your motives and what you do. Depending on why you stole and what you were thinking, it may involve the mortal sin of greed.

In this case, I recommend: talk to your priest about it. Tell him everything and try to take earthly steps with him (if possible). However, a prayer for the forgiveness of sins must be the least in this case.

Summary: Is stealing a sin?

In summary, stealing is just as bad as murder and should also be refrained from for a better relationship with God, the act should be undone as best as possible!

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