This is probably the easiest gift to understand. As lords were judges and in charge of the law, this code for the Ten Commandments was fairly straightforward to Christians. While the 10 commandments are indeed “law” because they tell us what to do and what not to do, they are also Gospel-motivated because like the 9 virtues mentioned yesterday, they show the things which a Christian desires to do out of love for God.
Perhaps you learned how the 10 commandments can be divided into 2 sections.
Commandments 1-3 talk about and guide our relationship with God. The First teaches us about setting our priorities and making sure that God always has first place in our lives as we fear, love and trust in him above all things. The Second teaches us about the use of our speech and how God’s name should be used in our speech. We are not to use God’s name to curse, swear or lie. Instead, every word of our speech is to honor God and his name. The Third reminds us of the importance which the Word of God is to have in our lives. We are to gladly hear and learn it by studying it often to keep our faith strong and growing; and by worshipping him often so we’ll be reminded of all that God’s Word says to us. And we are to respect it, giving it the top spot in our hearts and the place of priority in our lives as a reflection of our love for God.
Commandments 4-10 talk about and guide our relationships with one another. The Fourth reminds us of the respect and honor we owe those who are God’s representatives in all areas of our lives – church, family (parents) and society (government and law enforcement). The Fifth reminds us of the high value we are to place on life – all life: unborn, young, old and in every situation of life. God is the author of life and only he or his representatives in the government can end it. The Sixth teaches us to honor the gift of sexuality which God has given to those who are married and how we are to remain pure in our thoughts, words and actions. We’d all agree that the temptations to break this commandment are rampant in our world today. The Seventh guides us in our use of possessions – all the gifts which God has given to us and to others. We are to take care of what God has given us and keep our hands off what God has given others. The Eighth teaches us about God’s gift of a reputation. What we say and how we say it in our speech are important. Just because something is true doesn’t mean we have to share it, if it does damage to a reputation. Defend the reputation of others when they aren’t there, in the same way you’d want them to defend your reputation when you aren’t there. Volumes could be written here because of the way in which people freely speak the worst about others instead of the best and see nothing wrong with it. The Ninth & Tenth together also guide us in how we are to view the blessings which God has given to others. These two commandments really teach being satisfied and content with what God has seen fit to give us, instead of looking over the fence with a sinful desire for what others have.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me the 10 Commandments to guide me every day to live a life which pleases you and gives honor to you in all I think, say and do! Amen.