Wasting is a form of stealing because, similar to greed, it takes more than what is needed or necessary from the shared pool of resources belonging to all of humanity. The poor and the needy are deprived of their right to eat because these sinners chose to take more than what was needed, resulting in an excess on one end, and a lack on the other.

In the New Testament, Jesus tries to teach his people of ways to avoid such wastefulness. In John 6:12, it is written: “And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, ‘Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.’” The passage shows that Jesus himself understood the value of the goods and resources made available to men by God. Jesus knew that it was important to prevent waste, not only for the sake of obeying the 8th commandment, but also because it was the fair and respectful thing to do.

It is important that you are mindful when it comes to using the resources and goods you are able to acquire. Do not abuse God’s generosity. Take only what you need, and if there is excess, put it to good use.

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