Another act that violates the 8th commandment is wasting or squandering. When one wastes, he or she expends goods and resources carelessly, extravagantly, or to no purpose. This act unjustly deprives other people of such goods and resources. What could have been shared with another in need was uselessly and unfairly splurged.

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. Wasting robs one’s fellow human beings off their rights to such goods and resources because these goods and resources were not put to good use. They were thrown away, squandered, or eliminated.

Scripture shows how wasting is against God’s law. In Ezekiel 16:49, it is written: “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.”

The passage above shows that the people of Sodom have, among other sins, an excess of food. Instead of allowing this food to feed hungry mouths, it is wasted away by the overly prosperous. 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.

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