Heidelbergian Children's Catechism (age 8- 10 years)
Lord's Day 42
God says that we must not steal. In other words, don’t be a thief. Sometimes a thief is a person that carries a gun, covers their face with a mask, and steals someone’s purse. Or a thief may break into a house and steal someone’s belongings. You sure don’t want to be a person like that! But the commandment not to steal is not only for criminals. That law also applies to you and me. Stealing on a small scale is also sin. Here are some examples: you find money on the floor, and you pick it up and keep it instead of telling your mom; a treat is handed out, and you act as if you did not get anything yet so that you get a second one; you try to sneak into a hockey game without paying; you don’t prepare for a test, and you cheat instead. There are many ways that people steal, but God does net allow it. Perhaps you have done things like that. If there is a way to make up for it, you should try. You should also be sorry. When you are sorry, the Lord is always willing to forgive, because He is merciful. But don’t do it again. Fight against your evil desire. There are also many ways that adults steal. If fifteen minutes are allowed for a coffee break at work, an employee might take a longer break if the boss doesn’t notice. Such a man is a thief, because he is stealing the time that belongs to his boss. There are many more examples of stealing. When you are older, you will find out about them. You need to remember that God forbids stealing, no matter how small it may seem to you. In this commandment the Lord a/so tells his children to work hard. When you work hard, you can earn enough money to be able to give some away. There are people who cannot buy all the things that they need, and this commandment is also telling us to share what we have. By helping one another we are also helping each other stay obedient to the Lord.