Shameless plug for Mel Brooks in the title. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out this clip.
Anyways, we’re starting a sermon series on the 10 commandments this Sunday which of course has me looking into them a bit. The 10 commandments are often looked at as a short set of rules for staying in good with God. And in one sense they are a short set of rules though they have nothing to do with staying in good with God.
God’s grace, God’s forgiveness, God’s love are not dependent on us following any set of rules properly. God’s grace, forgiveness and love are free gifts that, Thank God, don’t depend on us being people without sin much less obeying all the rules.
That doesn’t suggest that the way we live out our lives, the way we live to be like Christ, doesn’t matter. It does matter but not for our own benefit. We don’t live to be like Christ so that WE get something but so that we GIVE something. We give of ourselves and in that giving we experience the life that God intends for all people. A life that has healthy relationships with God and with the people in our lives.
The 10 commandments set the stage for these healthy relationships. The first 3 set the parameters for our relationship with God. The next 5 set the parameters for our relationship with each other. The last two highlight the train wreck we can cause when we don’t keep our desire for stuff in check. The train wreck that is caused because we violate many, if not all, of the other eight commandments when we break 9 and 10.
So God lays out a few simple rules that should help society, people live better lives. Better lives because they take the focus off of ourselves and guide us into focusing on others and when we take that focus off of ourselves better relationships grow. I mean, think about that. When was the last time you wanted to hang out with someone completely focused on themselves? This is what God is trying to line up for us in the 10 commandments.
Not a bad way to live, these 10 commandments. If we lived as God calls us to live (for others) the world would be a much better place, wouldn’t it?
(For some social media and 10 commandment connections, see an early blogpost by clicking here.)