Catechesis Notes for the Week— The Seventh and Eighth Commandments--In the Seventh Commandment, “You shall not steal,” God wishes to protect His gift of property. Christians have a unique perspective on temporal goods. We are given our property that we might use it for the benefit of others. The Catechism declares that we are to help our neighbor “to improve and protect his possessions and income.” This is a concrete expression of love. In the Eighth Commandment, “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor,” God wishes to protect the gift of a good name and reputation. We are not only called to speak the truth in love to our neighbor and for our neighbor’s benefit, but we are also called to use our tongue to cover the sin and shame of others. We are called to “defend [our neighbor], speak well of him, and explain everything [about him] in the kindest way.” This week’s verse is a portion of Jesus’ catechesis on the Eighth Commandment in which He instructs us that our speech should be governed by the truth of God’s Word, anything other than this is of the devil: “Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one."
Luther's Small Catechism
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