Some of us may need a reminder of how to conduct our everyday lives. So, what better primary resource than two tablets of stone, authored by God circa 1446 BC, and first published by Moses?
The Catechism’s traditional presentation of the commandments:
1. I am the Lord your God: You shall not have strange Gods before me.
2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
3. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.
4. Honor your father and mother.
5. You shall not kill.
6. You shall not commit adultery.
7. You shall not steal.
8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.
Another way of saying it:
- There is only one true God. He comes first.
- Don’t worship false idols; don’t fall for fame or fortune, work, or anything to replace God.
- Don’t use God’s name in vain; don’t take God for granted. Don’t swear, or misconstrue His will.
- Take Sundays off to get to know God better, and be one with Him.
- Honor your father and mother. They’re the only ones you’ve got.
- Don’t kill people. Seems obvious, but some folks still can’t follow this one.
- If you’re married, be faithful to your spouse, and be happy. Don’t tempt others to wander either.
- Don’t steal what’s not yours.
- Don’t lie. Everything falls apart when you lie.
- Don’t want for things. That vicious cycle will waste your life away.
There’s no greater self-help guide than the Ten Commandments. Nations’ entire legal systems are written based on these ten simple rules. So do more rules – volumes and volumes of laws – ensure we’re better citizens?
After a few thousand years of history, it’s pretty clear that the original “cliff note,” literally carved out of a Mount Sinai cliff, is the best set of guidelines we could ever want. So rather than encouraging our legislators to enact more laws, let’s remind them that we all (including the legislators themselves) still need to do a better job at following these ten rules first!
Photo credit: RoseMarie Photography