Favorite Commandment?

ten_commandmentDo you have a favorite Commandment?  I am thinking of the Ten Commandments, but you might choose from the two greatest that Jesus and “the legal expert” both cite as summing up all the rest.  Or you may choose from among the 613 Commandments of the Torah.

You may, perhaps, even cite some other authoritative source for the purposes of this post.

This thought arises after having heard, again, adults suggest to children that the “most important one for you” is to obey your mother and father.

Huh.  Now, I’m not going to disagree on this in front of a roomful of children.  But sometimes I wonder if we have told children THIS commandment often enough that we begin to think it is for them.

I don’t think there is any credible biblical scholar who would support the idea that the other 9 are for everyone, but that one is for children.

Another possibility of your (or my) favorite commandment would be the one that we have the least likelihood of offending.  Kill?  No, that’s really not me, so I’ll jump on that one as the most important.  I’ll engage in discussions (actually debates) about how this commandment is the most important and work tirelessly to get other people to stop breaking it.

Least favorite? Well, that’s easy.  It would be the one over which we stumble most.  That whole covet thing gets me daily.  Did Moses have any idea how materialistic our culture would be?  Don’t covet anything?  How about nothing over $100?

What do I mean by favorite?  Favorite one to toss at others?  Favorite one to celebrate?  Favorite to stand awestruck at God’s goodness?

Your choice.  After all, it’s YOUR favorite.


2 thoughts on “Favorite Commandment?

  1. I struggle with this question of “favorite” commandment. Do you mean which one I like to follow? Or do you mean which one I like to avoid? Or do you mean which one is easy for me because I don’t do that?

    “You shall have no other gods before me” – what about my job that I put so much time into? What about the money that I worry about? What about my latest favorite celebrity or sports hero? What about all the electronic gadgets and toys that I seek out to entertain me (you know, the latest, greatest iPhone)? Waiting for the {insert favorite football team here} to play on Sunday?

    “You shall not worship idols” – same as above.

    “You shall not take the LORD’s name in vain” – Ooops, again.

    “Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy” – I may go to church on Sunday, but am I keeping the day holy? Don’t I wash the car (or the dog), or get some last minute work done, or mow the yard? Or sit around eating hot wings, drinking beer and watching the game?

    “Honor your father and mother” – Really? Every time I sassed back? Every time I disobeyed? And I’ve been told I was a “good” kid. I think I’m going to burn here.

    “You shall not murder” – I don’t kill, so that’s easy. Or do I? The bible describes several scenarios where separation from God is equated to death, so is this commandment just about physically killing someone? Or is it possible that through action or inaction I have caused another person to become separated from God and thus have “killed” them?

    “You shall not commit adultery” – But we live in a “free” love society where it’s acceptable to sleep with anyone and everyone. If I have had multiple partners over my lifetime, have I not already committed adultery? Jesus says that if I look at a women with lust in my heart, I’ve already committed adultery. That’s not easy in this modern time. Women are beautiful and I like to look, but then what about TV shows with scantily clad women, the latest Victoria’s Secret flyer that came in the mail, eating wings at Hooters? Not to mention those of us who have dealt with pornography. This world is drowning in a sea of adultery.

    “You shall not steal” – OK this one’s easy, I don’t steal. Hmmm, what about those office supplies I took home? Well I’m going to use them for work, right? What about that candy bar in the third grade? Guess this is out too.

    “You shall not bear false witness” – Like I’ve never, ever lied? Ever?

    “You shall not covet” – But the Jones’ have such a nice house, I really want a house like that. And the Smith’s new car, I really need a new car like that, too. And that new 60″ HD LCD TV with 10000 channels? I need that too. Oh let’s not forget the latest iPhone, I need that too.

    “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” – I love God, don’t get me wrong, but with ALL my heart? ALL my soul? ALL my mind? Where will I have time to play with my toys, or my new car, or my big house in the suburbs?

    “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” – This one’s easy, right? But do I love myself? And if I don’t love myself, how can I love my neighbor?

    I think if we’re to follow all these rules, we’re doomed. No matter how hard we try, we will always fall short somewhere. Thank you Jesus for paying a debt that I could never pay. Thank you Jesus for setting me free from these condemnations, even though I still struggle with each and every one of these, at least now I’m aware of the price that was paid and I can stop and reflect on what I’m about to do in the light of the sacrifice you made.

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