The ‘goody two shoes’ 10 commandments
The 10 commandments of God are indeed an extremely deep, rich well from which to drink.
Truly valuing them will help us roll up our sleeves and voluntarily work eagerly to get more dependent on God and each other, rather than sit back and pat ourselves on the back for how great we think we are doing compared to others.
It is tragic how quickly we can gloss over these 10 commandments and check them off like the rich young ruler in scripture, thinking how good we are at obeying them. We might say:
I – Yeah, I believe in one god (the one I made up in my mind).
II – Haven’t bowed to any graven images today (too much effort, I just look).
III – Haven’t cussed God much (but if I can’t blame others, he’ll do in a pinch).
IV – Sure, I believe in taking a long break on Sunday, just like I do everyday.
V – I mailed a card to mother last month.
VI – Haven’t murdered anyone (but I might have de-friended a busload of chumps).
VII – Haven’t sowed any wild oats lately (but my memory is short).
VIII – Haven’t stolen anything for a few days (enough hotel towels for now).
IX – Don’t lie much (unless I have to to get what I want).
X – Surely I don’t covet like Bo Diddly down the road does.
So let us just put a halo over our head and break our arm patting ourselves on the back, right?
If there is any remote chance that we profess to be Godly people, we need to be far harder on ourselves than we are on anyone else. One thing that should wake us up about these commandments is that we really enjoy seeing these words of life trampled on big time. We love seeing people kill, cheat on, steal from, lie to and covet each others’ things nearly every time we turn on our “graven image,” whether it be a computer screen, or a “couch potato box.”
How would we get entertainment if there were no more murders in the world? Gee, I don’t know if’n I want to go to heaven if it is going to be that boring. I mean, isn’t the most exciting part of life consist of watching others run faster and jump higher while they are poking each other full of holes with guns and knives? Of course the next best thing is sitting around watching others run faster and jump higher in their numbered underwear (ya’ know, fancy pants) while they are young so they can aspire to get paid beaucoup bucks for it as a career, then fall off the band wagon when they get old (age 29) and wish they were young again. Yeah, but us Bible-thumpers think a good song or sermon is the answer. If we can spout off scripture forward, backward and upside down, then surely we are the bee’s knees.
Meanwhile in a land far, far away, down in a coal mine there is a horseman (well grounded) sweating with a pickaxe in his hand:
I – “Focusing intently” on the job at hand well aware that The Creator God is at his side helping him grow in every good way.
II – After work he rides horses, climbs trees, plays ball or creatively designs something with his wife and kids to achieve more “balance” in life.
III – “He points to God with the work of his hands in deed and words.”
IV – He takes a break, scratches his head and asks God whether he needs to bear down, back off or change what he is doing regularly, based on a set apart day to “reflect and sharpen.”
V – In honoring his parents, he is very attentive about listening to, and seeking out “advice” from all, and tries not to get defensive (welcoming truth).
VI – With an unselfish “attitude,” he tries to organize and plan with others in mind so it will be easier to succeed and harder to fail in working with “others” (opposite of murder).
VII – He knows we all have trouble with self control and responsibility (adultery realm), so he asks God to help him build in “checks and balances” in his life. He asks for help in this area from friends, neighbors and family members as well.
VIII – He knows that the best way to please God and care about others is to spend time with them in the mud, blood, sweat and tears of life, and that the best answer to prayer is the one that includes him but points to “Jesus Christ” as the source of all he can do (opposite of stealing).
IX – He knows that time is a gift from God and not to be wasted, and since he senses he does not always “communicate clearly,” he strives continually to shed more light, open more doors and be more transparent so deception can flee like the cockroach that it is (the opposite of lying).
X – He recognizes why God limits his resources. It grows his character, and helps him run faster and jump higher in the things that count without poking holes in others (disclaimer for surgeons).
Therefore he “makes do,” and uses God’s free truths to develop skill rather than covet. This horseman is the true “James Bond” by a long shot! Proverbs 22:29, “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings.”
Dear Lord, help me to gag and throw up at the normal way I look at the 10 commandments. Help us all be that coal miner (horseman) who searches the 10 commandments realistically so we can run faster and jump higher in real life in the things that matter. Help us recognize “you” by the evidence we see more than the words we hear. Father (designer), Jesus (builder), Holy Spirit (janitor).
Mike Daniels is a horsemanship trainer and barefoot trimming specialist from Raymondville. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.