Reading through the Bible in a year has led me to the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20. Americans debate whether these should be posted in a court house in Alabama. Theologians often see their only purpose to be to point out our sin and need for a Savior (I’d suggest a main purpose, but not the only one.)
Many feel this is the way you earn your path towards God, and feel comfortable they have not killed or stolen (outside of warm cookies from the oven), and figure they are good to go with God. That is until you read Jesus Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 and he picks up things like anyone angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgement.
In other words, none of us are sinners emeritus. We all need the grace of God. Jesus came for you and for me. The 10 Commandments affirm this need for God’s grace in our lives.
But what if the 10 Commandments not only show us our need for a Savior, but also show us life as God intended? Barry Neil Kaufman taught me this in his book, Happiness is a Choice. He suggests, “God’s message of from the heavens detailed how people would behave if they took Him into their hearts.”
What would life be like, if we all followed the 10 Commandments?
God would have 1st priority in our lives. His love and His Word would guide, direct and empower all that we do and are.
God’s name would not be used when I drop something on my foot, but when I declare the wonders of a sunset and of a Savior.
Instead of living lives of fatigue and exhaustion, people would take time weekly to rest, re-charge, re-create and re-calibrate to the purpose God has for their lives. Instead of running on empty, we would be leading and living from rest.
How about a life where the generations get along, honor is held for those who are parents or in authority. Instead of tearing down those who raise up, we would lift them up.
Life would be seen as a gift from God for all. Your life. My life. All life. One’s value would not be based on age, gender, finances, social statue or health condition, but valued as a gift from God, a creation of God, and a life redeemed by God through the cross of Jesus Christ.
Marriages guided by God would live out the love of Christ. Faithfulness and purity, trust, respect, love and honor. How might marriages be transformed if we stayed faithful to the vows and the dreams of our wedding day?
What if possessions were safe? No need for keys, no need for passwords. Each person’s “stuff” is respected and recognized as a gift from God to be leveraged to honor God and to express love to others.
What if truth was found in the words we spoke to one another. Words that are not only honest, but also uplifting, transforming, and life building.
What if we didn’t crave what others had, but instead appreciated what God has given us — our family, our homes, our work, our lives.
As Louis Armstrong sang, “What a wonderful world it would be.” Some might call it heaven.
We’re not there yet. We still need that forgiveness daily (at least I do). But when God gave the 10 Commandments He not only showed us our sin and our need for a Savior. He also showed us what life is like when we follow His Word and His love each day. What if we lived that way today?