Ahhh …..the days of scripture memorization, VBS, learning the Ten Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer in Sunday school. I thought those times were difficult and challenging! I couldn’t remember which book was Old or which was an Epistle. Who were the prophets and who were the Apostles? I beat myself up quite a bit when my younger siblings knew the answers before I did.
Well for some reason lately I’ve been thinking about my human shortcomings (and I have a lot!) and about how much I worry what others think of me. I find myself judging myself for those shortcomings and revert back to my childhood memories of “Thou shall not…” (always go back to the language of the King James Version to get the full effect of these laws!) to measure myself and see what my failures are. Kinda like a “naughty or nice” check list.
Time hasn’t changed some things for me – I still haven’t memorized those scripture verses – so I check Google for “Ten Commandments”. Seems there are a lot more than the ten I thought I remembered! (My self-doubt and shortcomings were getting excited now!)
I found the “Ten Commandments of Motherhood”, “Ten Commandments of Social Media”, “Ten Canine Commandments” and “The Ten Commandments of Presentations”. Then there were the “Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics”, “Ten Commandments for Drivers”, and Vanity Fair’s “New Commandments”. (I was getting a bit overwhelmed with all of these commandments! I could never follow all of them.) There are movies, books, and a musical, a Catholic version, a Jewish version, and a version called “The Hutu Ten Commandments”.
Finally, I came across this man-made version and thought to myself, “These I can learn!”, not because they are man-made, but because they pointed me back to the God who loves us so much.
- Thou shall not worry, for worry is the most unproductive of all human activities.
- Thou shall not be fearful, for most of the things we fear never come to pass.
- Thou shall not cross bridges before you come to them, for no one yet has succeeded in accomplishing this.
- Thou shall face each problem as it comes. You can only handle one at a time anyway.
- Thou shall not take problems to bed with you, for they make very poor bedfellows.
- Thou shall not borrow other people’s problems. They can better care for them than you can.
- Thou shall not try to relive yesterday for good or ill, it is forever gone. Concentrate on what is happening in your life and be happy now!
- Thou shall be a good listener, for only when you listen do you hear ideas different from your own. It is hard to learn something new when you are talking, and some people do know more than you do.
- Thou shall not become “bogged down” by frustration, for 90% of it is rooted in self-pity and will only interfere with positive action.
- Thou shall count thy blessings, never overlooking the small ones, for a lot of small blessings add up to big ones.
I’m sure there are more … what can you add to the list?