60. What does God command in the eighth commandment?

I should encourage and support my neighbour to the best of my ability and treat him as I would like to be treated by others. I should support and help those in need.

  • Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
  • Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh? (Isaiah 58:7)
  • Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labour, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. (Ephesians 4:28)
  • But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (Hebrews 13:16)

The eighth commandment therefore requires the following virtues:

  1. Diligence, hard work and prudence:
    • Not lacking in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. (Romans 12:11)
  2. Contentment and having enough:
    • Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (1 Timothy 6:6-10)
  3. Loyalty, honesty and conscientious management of what we are entrusted with:
    • He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. (Luke 16:10)
    • Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4)
  4. Being charitable and generous:
    • The Lord Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)
    • God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7)

All earthly goods belong to God. He entrusted them to mankind so that they could manage it according to His will. So it is wrong to claim: “I can do what I want with my money and property!” We are responsible to God for using it.