Pause for self-examination

The ten commandments are a huge influence on our culture. Credit: Shutterstock

MOST folk I meet readily concede that the “Ten Commandments” are among the most valuable of influences on our culture and attitudes to others. 

Yet as I consider this fact I can’t help but wonder if anyone has really thought this through, for in essence those ancient commandments, enumerated below, seem so often to be treated as irrelevances:

  1. Nothing in your life may take precedence over the one and only God.  That, for most of us seems quite a challenge these days when we all have so many calls on our prioritisation.
  2. You shall not worship idols.  That includes sports teams, personalities, singers, actors, cars, houses, etc.  I guess many of us acknowledge we idolise someone or something, thus contravening this, the second commandment.
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.  So we must never use the name of Jesus, Christ or God to indicate surprise or shock?  OMG!
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Really?  No shopping or sporting events on Sundays?  Could even possibly require us to attend Church!
  5. Honour your father and your mother.  So look after them in uncomplaining obedience as they age and become a nuisance.
  6. You shall not murder.  I guess most of us agree with this one so long as we don’t interpret it as Jesus did, that hating someone is to murder them in your heart.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.  Well these days surely this one can’t apply.  Divorce lawyers would be out of business if we kept that one!
  8. You shall not steal.  Well fine, provided someone doesn’t suggest that fiddling expenses claims or tax returns is theft!
  9. You shall not bear false witness.  Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?   No exaggeration; no gossip nor innuendo?
  10. You shall not covet.  That could destroy the advertising industry, which thrives on making each and every one of us covet the things other people have!

So how, I wonder did you score on that test ?  A bit sobering I found it as these acknowledged foundation stones of our culture serve to highlight how totally we all fail.

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