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Excuses in Keeping Something Not Yours

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Keeping someone else’s possession when you find it is a violation of the 8th Commandment because It unrightfully withholds material possessions or money from an owner who had misplaced, dropped, or had been in any way separated from their belongings. Some of the types of excuses people make include the following:

  1. Blaming the owner – “It’s their fault for losing it.”/ “If the owner wasn’t so careless, they would not have lost it.”
  2. Unjust comparisons- “I really need this right now, probably more than the owner does.”/ “No one deserves to keep this more than I do.”
  3. Magical thoughts- “Finding this is a sign that I’m meant to have it!”/ ”I was meant to find this!”
  4. Self-pity- “Keeping this is the least I can do for myself, given my situation.”/ “I need to hold on to anything I can get right now.”
  5. Rationalizations- “The owner probably doesn’t even need it.”/ “They won’t even miss it.”

When you catch yourself making excuses as to why it is okay for you to keep what belongs to another, stop yourself. Be mindful of your thought process, and understand that a faulty thought process can lead you to sin. It can lead you to violate God’s law.

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