- You shall have no other gods before Me.
I think this is a tricky commandment because it seems easy to follow, right? Duh, I’m not off worshipping another religion so I’m good? No. I put other “gods” above the Man Upstairs all the time! I binge watch Netflix instead of reading my bible. I enjoy wine much more than I should – and at times, it keeps me from focusing on my Christian morals. How often do I post on social media about God? Not nearly as often as frivolous, pointless things. Some days, it seems like I’ll put just about any “god” above Him.
- You shall not make idols.
I interpret this as being a “Sunday Christian.” As making the mistake of confusing the constructs of religion with real worship. I think most of us involved in our churches find ourselves guilty of this at one point or another. We are all busy nowadays and it is hard to find time to get everything done in a day. Especially if you value sleep the way I do. If I go to service, and youth group, and family night, then I have fulfilled my duties for the week, right? All too often my devotionals pile up for days while I find “better things” to occupy my time.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
As much as I wish this is a habit I could break, I definitely say “Oh my God” or “Jesus Christ,” as means to describe my exasperation. Which is bad, but I think what is much worse is that I oftentimes put God second to who I want to be. I take his name in vain by declaring Christianity while acting impulsively.
- Remember the Sabbath Day, keep it Holy.
If we are being honest, do any of us have time for an entire day of “Holy?” I don’t feel so much guilt over this since I do find some time for God most days, even if it is far too short. But I could spend much more time doing good things for the world, for my community, if I prioritized that over more sinful activities.
- Honor your Father and Mother.
Since I was about 14 years old, I’ve had essentially no relationship with my mother. I am too old to blame her for that now but I do know that it is not the way God wants me to live. A couple weeks ago I felt called to reach out to her, and I did. We have only spoke twice since but, perhaps, I will be honoring my Mother soon enough. I struggle to honor my Father like I should. Not because I am ungrateful or unappreciative – there is just so much to thank him for. The words “I love you” are rarely spoken in my family… we all assume they already know.
- You shall not murder.
You guessed it! I haven’t killed anyone at all today – or any other days! Really, I had to look up what a modern-day translation of this commandment would entail. In the Catholic faith, it seems to, oftentimes, be translated into defaming someone’s character. Aka, gossip. If I had a penny for every sly comment I’ve made about someone, albeit appearance, attitude, etc, I would definitely have a whole lot less student loan debt.
- You shall not commit adultery.
Of all the commandments, this is by-and-large the one I break most often. I may not be married but I am certainly an adulteress. I flirt too often, I sexualize situations and people without reason. Certainly, on more than one occasion it has been said that I make things dirty. That’s because… it’s true. If I am being completely honest, this is a commandment I will break everyday for the rest of my life.
- You shall not steal.
Briefly forgetting the habits of sticky-fingered-high-school-Janelle, my “stealing” today is a bit less intentional. I stop for Starbucks when there is perfectly good coffee at home. I buy a meal while ripe produce waits in my refrigerator. I buy yet another pair of shoes. Yes, these things are materialistic and, therefore, frowned upon. But they are not stealing… just the opposite, I am spending money. But I am spending money on things that are unnecessary, I am stealing from those in need.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
I found a very interesting modern-day translation of this commandment referencing our online presence, “be the same person online as we are in real life, do not share sensational, almost-true-but-not-quite information.” Pope Benedict XVI, did you just call me out directly?! Be honest, you do the same! We all do! We bear false witness in a hope of being “liked.” Seems silly now, doesn’t it?
- You shall not covet.
Do I even have to write anything here? If you aren’t coveting in 2015 than you must be Jesus Christ himself. That green-eyed monster is all too common in all of us, isn’t it? Let us not forget how utterly unimportant the newest iPhone is.
Allow me to continue to see the errors in my ways. Allow me to seek your purity and steer me away from sin. Help me keep your commandments. Help me seek your wisdom and share it with others. I pray that these words touch someone today, Heavenly Father I pray that my honesty keep my heart open to you. Let me love you more each and every day.