This week’s reading from Exodus 20:3-11 is the beginning of the Ten Commandments. In short, this reading covers the first three commandments which are designed to help us with our relationship with God. Paraphrased, One God only, Use God’s name well and keep the Sabbath.
Which begs the question, “Who is #1?”
The answer is easy but the question is kind of tough, isn’t it? The correct answer is obviously “God” but when we think about the question is that our final answer? Making God #1 in our life is difficult. Many activities, schedules, time pressures and all that combine to push God out of the picture, don’t they? Pretty standard stuff and no surprises. It is a challenge!
We have to ask ourselves the hard question. Who is #1 in my life and how would anyone know? Not that we need to prove it to others but if we don’t show some indication that God is #1, no one will take us seriously. Let me use a gross exaggeration to illustrate. If you meet someone who is cranky and works 7 days a week that is focused on ‘stuff’ and damns things (and people) in God’s name left and right, would you take them seriously as a person of faith?
Okay, back to the real world. How do others know we are people of faith? It isn’t by acting like perfect little Christians (there are no perfect little Christians) but it is by the way we live out the Ten Commandments. Do we spend more time with God or with our stuff? Do we use God’s name in bad ways, including but not limited to cussing. More important is forgetting to use God’s name to bring healing, forgiveness and hope. And do we work all the time, including work, sports and all those other things we spend time on or do we take time to be with God and with each other?
This is what other people see and interpret about our faith. Especially our young people. No one is looking for us to be perfect but many are wondering if they can take us seriously. And if our desire is for them to be serious and authentic about their faith then we have to be serious and authentic about OUR faith.
Ain’t easy, is it?