Do I have to tell someone the truth, even it will hurt their feelings?
I want to welcome you back to another episode of All About My Catholic Faith. My name is Scott and I am joined by my son, Christopher. Do you ever wonder why your Catholic education seemed to be lacking or even watered down? Once upon a time, not too awfully long ago, Catholic kids were taught the truths about Christianity and the Catholic faith using the Baltimore Catechism. There were a couple of Baltimore Catechism books that were used, one was geared towards the younger children, and the second was designed to dive a little deeper for older kids and teens. These certainly were not perfect, but pretty darn close, they teach the faith in a well organized and truthful manner. A lot of people have fallen away from their Catholic faith, and they will sometimes cite the reason that they just didn’t really learn that much about the faith when they were young, even though they may have attended Catholic school or CCD classes.
So in my podcast series here, I want to bring back those basic teachings. If you listen to this podcast, you will learn the faith like you should have when you were younger. It will also help you better teach the faith to those you love and together we can make our family, our community, our country and our Church holy again!
This is lesson 20. The 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th Commandments of God. You can’t take your riches from this life when you die, or can you?
So, Christopher, I’m wondering if you have anything that you want me to talk about in this lesson.
Sure. Can you talk a little about Jesus’s attitude about money and how this affects our standing with him?
Absolutely. Before I get into that, I’m going to read a little from the Bible to get us going into the lesson: This reading is from the Gospel of St. Matthew, chapter 6, verses 19-21.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”
What do you think this reading from St. Matthew is trying to teach us today? Well, I think it's trying to teach us that Jesus is our Good Shepherd and that we must follow the example that he set for us. You know, Jesus could’ve had anything that he possibly wanted because after all, he is the second person of the Trinity. All the riches in the entire world could have been his. Jesus never wanted to come into this world to be rich though. He wanted to be poor so he could set an example for all of us, even the poorest people here on Earth. Jesus wanted to show everybody that they could truly be holy and make it to Heaven no matter what they had or didn’t have in their life.
Jesus was indeed born very poor. Remember he was born in Bethlehem in a simple stable where animals would eat and lay down to sleep. The stable where Jesus was born was very dirty and very stinky. You can only imagine how a stable would stink with all the cows and goats and lambs and all the other animals that must have been there.
Jesus grew up in the very simple and poor town of Nazareth. Jesus’s earthly father, Joseph, led a simple life as a carpenter making things for other people. Joseph set a great example for Jesus so he could, in turn, set a great example for the entire world.
Jesus set out on the mission that God the Father gave him with virtually no money. Jesus actually told his disciples to leave everything they had behind and follow him. They indeed did this without any money or riches because they didn't need this in order to follow Jesus and to teach others how to follow Jesus and make it to heaven. There are accounts that when Jesus died on the cross to take away our sins, he did so without any clothes on at all. This was done to humiliate him even more than had already been done. We typically do see the crucified Jesus with a cloth around his midsection, but it’s very likely he had nothing on at all.
As I said earlier, we must always follow Jesus, follow his example, and trust in him in everything we do. If we do this, we’re promised by God to have everything that we’ll ever need. We can each be very selfish about the things that we get from God or things that we get from our hard work and I know I’ve been selfish many times during my life. Of course, we can also be very generous with our things. Being generous means to be very sharing and very giving of the things that we have. If we are generous with what belongs to us then this, in turn, will help us to pile up actual treasures for our time in heaven. That's pretty cool because when we die, we certainly want to live in heaven with everything that we possibly would need. We've been told that there will be no sorrow and we will have pure happiness in heaven.
You know every time that we do something generous here on Earth it's like we're sending a jewel or a gold nugget up to heaven to go ahead of us. We're actually giving those jewels directly to God every time we share something or do something generous here on Earth. The jewel that we're giving to God, by sharing and being kind and generous, is showing how much we love God and his children, our brothers and sisters in Christ. So the example in the story that we read in the Bible today from St. Matthew is really teaching us to share things that we have. If you have brothers or sisters or friends, make sure that you share your ideas, your talents, and anything else you have. Please work hard not to be selfish. Jesus did tell us that what we do for others is a true sign of how much we love him.
Another good lesson to learn from this reading is to not get angry if things get lost, broken, or taken away from us. Remember, these are only things, and they're only things here on Earth. What we should really be concerned with are the things we’ll have in heaven. Of Course, we're not going to really need anything in heaven because God will give us everything that we will possibly need when we are in heaven.
I want to get into the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th Commandments now. So let's say we find out what those Commandments are and see how they tie into the lesson we're talking about today.
The Seventh Commandment of God is “Thou shalt not steal.” What do you think we are commanded to do or not to do in the Seventh Commandment. Among other things, I believe we’re commanded to respect what belongs to others. Anything that belongs to others, whether its thoughts, ideas, money, toys, or other things they own, we’re taught by the Seventh Commandment to respect those things and not to take them away. The Seventh Commandment tells us not to steal, but this also means not to be a dishonest or cheating person or to damage others property.
The Eighth Commandment of God says “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” To bear false witness means to lie about our neighbors. If we are bearing false witness against our neighbor we’re lying about our neighbor or spreading rumors about them. This, of course, would be very hurtful to anybody.
Jesus said, “I am the truth”. So if we claim to really love and follow Jesus we should always tell the truth, which means not to tell lies about or to our neighbor.
Again we are commanded by God to speak the truth in all things. You know sometimes, when we tell the truth, it may hurt someone's feelings. We're not trying to hurt their feelings by telling them the truth, but we should always be truthful. For example, let's say a person ate a piece of pizza and they have some pizza sauce dangling from their lip. You don't want them to go through the next hour with the pizza sauce hanging there on their lip now, do you? You want to be honest with them even though it may embarrass them. Telling them the truth will probably save them from even greater embarrassment later on.
The Ninth Commandment says “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife.” What in the world does that mean, you may ask. Covet means that you wish to get things unjustly. So, in this case, it means that if your best friend, neighbor, or complete stranger has a very nice and attractive wife or girlfriend, you’re not to attempt to harm their relationship by trying to gain that person for your own wife or girlfriend. Of course, this also goes for women. A woman should not covet their neighbor’s husband either. As the saying goes, “What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander!”
The ninth commandment ties back to the Sixth Commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” that we talked about in our last lesson. I hope you remember that the Sixth Commandment is where God tells us to that we need to be pure and modest in our actions. We should respect our body since it is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and also those of the opposite sex by not having impure conversations, telling dirty jokes, looking at bad pictures or becoming sexually active before we’re married.
The Ninth Commandment tells us that we should not even willfully think about doing such impure acts against chastity that were talked about in the Sixth Commandment. A willful thought is different from a thought that just pops into your head. If you willfully think unchaste thoughts and we either enjoy those thoughts or we don’t do anything to get rid of those thoughts, we would be sinning against the Ninth Commandment. Satan wants to bring you down any way he can and an easy way that he uses to harm us is to put these unchaste thoughts in our head. Don’t worry though, because if you don’t want these kinds of thoughts in your head, you have someone much more powerful at your fingertips. Say a little prayer to Jesus that he takes away these type of thoughts from you, and then do your best to think about something else. It’s not always easy, but I know you can do it.
The Tenth Commandment says “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods.” Remember that covet means we don't wish for things others have, unjustly. We could want what another person has but that's different from being jealous of what a person has. This would be true whether we're talking about a person's house or their car, their toys, or their school they go to, or their family situation. Personal belongings of another person belong to that person and we should not be jealous or envious of what they have.
So that's a little recap of the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th Commandments of God.
I’m wondering if you have thought of any other questions for me.
I have a few if you don’t mind.
Student: Did Jesus care about riches? No, I wouldn't say that Jesus really cared about riches because he didn't need or want riches here on Earth. Jesus knows that being rich here on Earth with things or possessions is not important.
Student: Are prayers and good deeds heavenly treasures? I would say yes they are. Prayers and good deeds are indeed heavenly treasures and they will help build up more treasures in Heaven for when we get there. The more we pray for our friends and our family and for people who really need our prayers, and we do good deeds for other people. We’ll help build up our own treasures in Heaven.
Student: Do we really have to share things that we have with other people? Absolutely, we should be sharing our things. We should be generous with our things, talents, money, or anything that we have. It’s really great and a wonderful thing when we share the things that we have with other people. Just like right now, I'm sharing my knowledge that I have about the Catholic Christian faith and about Jesus with you. I really want to be generous with my knowledge and things that I've learned in my life so that you and others can benefit from the things that I've learned. Perhaps by me sharing these things, you'll become closer to God and you can teach those things, other people, too. I think a person should really want to share what’s most important in their life with others. If we keep what’s most important to us to ourselves and we don’t share, we are really being selfish, and that’s not what makes great friendships.
Student: Is cheating in class or in sports considered bad enough to break any commandments? Well, These things are indeed very dishonest. Cheating in class or in sports are definitely dishonest and these break the Seventh Commandment which says “Thou shalt not steal.” You know, when you're cheating you are stealing from that person or group of people because you're cheating them out of something that they might otherwise have had. They may have won the game or they may have had the best answer, but if you cheat you're taking that away from them and you're getting something dishonestly and unjustly.
Student: Is it okay to damage the property of others? Sometimes I feel angry and I feel like another person may deserve to have their things broken or damaged, but of course no, you can never damage things of other people. This would be a direct sin against the Commandments of God. We are commanded not to hurt people and not to damage their property or goods.
Student: Should we always speak the truth? Isn’t it better sometimes not to tell the truth? We are called by Jesus to always be honest with our dealings with people, so yes we should always speak the truth even if we risk hurting someone’s feelings or even possibly losing a friend. If we tell someone the truth with the love of Jesus in our heart, we will be doing a wonderful thing. We may even save that person from continuing in a sinful way of life which may eventually send them to Hell.
Student: Is it okay for us to be jealous or envious of others? Well of course not. We should never be jealous or envious of what people have, what they have earned, the things they know, the places they've been, the friends they have, or anything like that. You may feel that you want those things, but you should not be jealous, instead, you should work hard and do things that maybe you will be able to have those things one day. Remember though, building riches here on Earth is not the really important thing, it's doing things for other people to help build riches in heaven that is the most important.
Let’s have some more readings from the Bible. I think these readings will help tie everything together and help you understand why the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th Commandments are important.
This first reading is from the Gospel of St. Matthew chapter 19 verses 16 through 24. This reading will tell us what happened to the rich young man who was so too selfish.
Now someone approached him and said, “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?” He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He asked him, “Which ones?” And Jesus replied, “ ‘You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and your mother’; and ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” The young man said to him, “All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to [the] poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
The next reading will be a little long, so I hope you’ll listen carefully. It’s a little long but very important, and it teaches as a very important lesson. This reading will be from the Gospel of St. Luke chapter 12 verses 13 through 34.
Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’ And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.” l He said to [his] disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life and what you will eat, or about your body and what you will wear. For life is more than food and the body more than clothing. Notice the ravens: they do not sow or reap; they have neither storehouse nor barn, yet God feeds them. How much more important are you than birds! Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your life-span? If even the smallest things are beyond your control, why are you anxious about the rest? Notice how the flowers grow. They do not toil or spin. But I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass in the field that grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? As for you, do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not worry anymore. All the nations of the world seek for these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these other things will be given you besides. Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”
This next reading will be from the Gospel of St. Mark chapter 14 verses 55 through 59.
The chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin kept trying to obtain testimony against Jesus in order to put him to death, but they found none. Many gave false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. Some took the stand and testified falsely against him, alleging, “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands and within three days I will build another not made with hands.’” Even so their testimony did not agree.
So, Christopher, did my explanations and the Bible readings help to answer the questions you had?
Ya, I think so. Thanks for helping me to learn more about our Catholic faith.
That’s great. Here's a recap of the Commandments that we talked about today. The Seventh Commandment is “Thou shalt not steal.” The Eighth Commandment is “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” The Ninth Commandment is “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife.” And the Tenth Commandment is “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's Goods.”
Remember, every time that we’re generous, we are actually laying a foundation of love in heaven.
This next week between now and next Friday, go out of your way to be generous with other people. In Mass this weekend when you give money in the collection remember that this money is going to the church to help people who are in need and who may not be able to have or do as much as you can. So maybe this week you can give a little extra to those who need it. This can really show Jesus that you can be generous with not only your time and talent but also with your money.
Please make sure you go to Mass this weekend and of course every week, where you will be able to be with Jesus and his followers. Remember the angels and saints are all there at Mass with us too. Make sure you pray every day, especially the Rosary, and of course, if you're not Catholic, remember you can always come to church with us.
I hope you'll keep listening to these lessons to keep learning why we love Jesus and his Church so much. If you know someone who wants to know more about the Catholic Church, whether they’re Catholic or not, please tell them about this series.
Next week we’ll start talking more about specific commandments of the Catholic Church that will help us better worship Jesus and serve each other. So until next time please pray for me and I'll pray for you. God bless you and goodbye for now.
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